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

I had much of the lunch break to reflect on the matter, and I broadly agree that the Liberal Democrat amendment, although I do not doubt its good intentions, would not achieve anything remotely similar to that described by the hon. Member for Rochdale when he spoke to it. It is perverse and would require mandatory reconsideration. Even if the adviser and the individual were as happy with each other as they could be, there would have to be reconsideration, which does not make much sense. The problem is worse than the hon. Member for Hertsmere suggested because putting in the word “reasonable” and agreeing to an action plan with all the terms on the side of the individual, and then saying further that any sanctions must already be agreed by the individual would, by accident or design, water down conditionality to the point of perversity and would offer nothing of substance to the Bill.