Clause 5 - Amendments to Pensions Appeal Tribunals Act 1943

Part of Armed Forces – in a Public Bill Committee at 8:55 am on 24th February 2004.

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Photo of Desmond Turner Desmond Turner Labour, Brighton, Kemptown 8:55 am, 24th February 2004

What the Minister says is true in theory, but unfortunately not in practice. For example, in social security tribunals, the average success rate of appellants without advocacy is about 50 per cent. My office runs an advocacy service for social security appellants and our success rate is 95 per cent. We are not lawyers, although we are probably far more effective in this context than they are.

A sensible advocacy service is needed—it does not have to have bells and whistles or to cost a lot. I hope the Minister will assure us that reasonable advocacy arrangements can be provided.