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 James Clappison James Clappison Shadow Spokesperson (Work and Pensions) 4:00 pm, 24th February 2009

Having had an opportunity to reflect carefully, I find that the amendments tabled by the hon. Member for Rochdale are even more defective than I first thought, but I will confine myself to my original intervention. Liberal Democrat amendment 84 is going about things the wrong way round. Instead of saying that regulations “may” make provision for reconsideration and setting out the circumstances in which that will take place so that everyone knows what those circumstances are and there is clarity, and so that the claimant, in particular, knows what the circumstances are, the amendment would do away with that—and just about do away with paragraphs (a) to (e) of subsection (5)—because it would make it mandatory to have reconsideration. It would merely require that reconsideration shall take place at “the reasonable request” of the claimant without saying what amounts to reasonable. That seems to be the worst of all worlds.

Paul Rowen (Rochdale) (LD) rose—