Clause 81

Welfare Reform Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 7:15 pm on 10th May 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Margaret Curran Margaret Curran Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) 7:15 pm, 10th May 2011

I beg to move amendment 224, in clause 81, page 58, line 6, at end insert

‘otherwise than by virtue of an award made before he attains that age.’.

Hon. Members will be glad to know that I shall be mercifully brief on the amendment, which I hope is straightforward. It would include in the Bill a commitment that the personal independence payment would continue  to be paid to those over the age of 65 by virtue of an award made before they reach that age. That would ensure that the current rules regarding over-65s and disability living allowance remain unchanged following the introduction of the personal independence payment.

The Minister can probably guess what I am going to say, because she has heard me say this before, and I can guess what she will say in return. As the clause stands, a person will not be entitled to the daily living or mobility component for any period after they reach pensionable age, unless specified in subsequent regulations. Will she put that in the Bill?

I know that the Minister gave a reply to a parliamentary question, which stated:

“we intend in regulations to allow individuals already in receipt of personal independence payment when they reach state pension age to continue to receive the benefit, subject to the entitlement conditions continuing to be satisfied.”—[Official Report, 31 March 2011; Vol. 526, c. 447W.]

I have moved the amendment merely to offer the people who have concerns about losing their benefit the clarification that we will be rock solid on the measure. I suggest that the Minister put the proposal in the Bill.

Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I am happy to respond to the hon. Lady’s amendment and to set the record straight. We plan to make regulations that allow people who are already in receipt of PIP and who have reached the upper age limit to continue receiving their award into retirement, which I think is exactly what she is looking for. As with DLA, we envisage having linking rules that will allow individuals who have a short break in their claim after pensionable age to claim PIP, provided their claim is made within a given period.

Subsection (3) will enable regulations to be made to specify such provisions. As the hon. Lady will understand, such things are best dealt with by regulation to give us the sort of flexibility that we need with those provisions. With that clear assurance, I hope that she will feel that it is appropriate to withdraw the amendment.

Photo of Margaret Curran Margaret Curran Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

On the basis of what the Minister has just said, I beg to ask leave to withdrawn the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 81 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 82 ordered to stand part of the Bill.