Clause 2

Part of Welfare Reform Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:00 pm on 24th February 2009.

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Photo of James Clappison James Clappison Shadow Spokesperson (Work and Pensions) 5:00 pm, 24th February 2009

As I hope that I have indicated already, this is a probing amendment and I shall seek the Committee’s leave to withdraw it on the basis that I have drawn some reassurance from the Minister’s entirely appropriate remarks. Having heard the Minister’s two examples, however, I am not entirely convinced by the aim. In the first example, he said that somebody’s ill health might prevent them from carrying out their original direction, but I am not entirely convinced that the aim of doing justice to that person could not be achieved by a simple variation rather than by a revocation—varying the terms of the order, so that the completed part stood but was varied to something more suitable to the person’s current health conditions. I am not sure that variation would not be a better way of dealing with it than revocation, when what was directed  in the first place would no longer count because it would have been revoked. However, I draw reassurance from the Minister’s explanation of the intention—that, as far as the individual claimant is concerned, the provision is intended to be positive. In the light of his helpful remarks about that positivity and its effect on any subsequent interpretation of the provisions, should it come to that, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.