Clause 10 - Extent

Part of Age-Related Payments Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 25 May 2004.

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Photo of Malcolm Wicks Malcolm Wicks Minister for pensions, Department for Work and Pensions 12:00, 25 May 2004

I am not sure of the answer to the last question. In terms of law and constitutional arrangements, notwithstanding the Welsh Assembly—and I do not want to get into trouble with anyone—England and Wales are often grouped together. The Scottish system is rather different; the answer could simply be that. I do not think that the issue affects the payment of the money, so I do not want the hon. Gentleman to worry too much about it.

The hon. Gentleman was right to suggest that an Order in Council will be introduced as soon as possible to provide for payments to be made to eligible pensioners in Northern Ireland at the same time as payments are made to pensioners in Great Britain. I should add—as we currently do on such occasions—that, in the event of a return to devolved Government

in Northern Ireland before the Order in Council is made, the issue would of course become a matter for the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 10 ordered to stand part of the Bill.