Clause 2

Part of Welfare Reform Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:00 pm on 24th February 2009.

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Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Minister of State (Employment and Welfare Reform; Minister for London), Department for Work and Pensions 4:00 pm, 24th February 2009

None the less, the amendment would not achieve what I think the hon. Gentleman wants it to achieve. I accept that the amendment is probing, but the prescribed circumstances refer specifically to individuals, and the thrust of the amendment is to make mandatory on all lone parents, regardless of their circumstances, a conditionality regime to which, as we discussed this morning, we are quite deliberately referring only specific subsets. This is almost Freud gone mad. Anyone with children would be caught, without prescription, under the clause as the hon. Gentleman would amend it, including those with young babies. I do not think that that is what he intends. We had this discussion in our previous sitting and I would ask that amendment 11, probing or otherwise, be withdrawn, and that the Committee gently ignores the others.