Clause 45

Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:45 am on 16th October 2007.

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Appeal to appeal tribunal

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Michael Clapham Michael Clapham Labour, Barnsley West and Penistone

May I take this opportunity to ask the Minister whether the appeal procedure to which the clause refers will be based on the medical appeal tribunal? Will the medical appeal tribunal be called on to intervene if, for example, the diagnosis is an issue? Will it deal with questions of exposure, or is it intended to introduce a new tribunal procedure? As I see it, the medical appeal tribunal procedure is adequate to deal with such cases.

Photo of Anne McGuire Anne McGuire The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 12:00 pm, 16th October 2007

The Secretary of State for Justice and the Lord Chancellor are responsible for regulations relating to appeal procedures under clause 45(4)(a) and (b). The rules will be consistent with the existing procedures for social security and child support appeals to the tribunal or a commissioner. The tribunal will comprise appropriately qualified people, including a medical member. I am not quite sure if that answers the specifics of the question. If it does not, I will come back to the hon. Gentleman and others with a further clarification.

Any appeal made under the clause must be referred to an appeal tribunal, unless it is to be treated as a request for a reconsideration of the decision, which would be dealt with by the Secretary of State. The appeal tribunal will be able to substitute a new determination for the original determination made by the Secretary of State. Regulations will be set out as to how the appeal is to be made and how long a person will have in which to make such an appeal. The clause is needed to provide a safeguard for people who feel that a decision made on their claim for a lump sum payment is wrong.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 45 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 46 ordered to stand part of the Bill.