Results 141–160 of 3500 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Baroness Hollis of Heigham

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: Perhaps I may reflect on that. The reason that I hesitated about means testing is because of payments such as WFTC; that is, payments that were benefits when they were family credit and are still income-related but not part of the benefit system as we envisage it--in other words, private cases. That is why I should like to reflect on what the noble Earl said. With regard to the point about...

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: We have heard two maxi-speeches and one mini-speech, none of which has been addressed directly to the amendment before the Committee. The amendment concerns verification, but the noble Baroness, Lady Byford, has instead used it as a peg to put forward a trailer for a wider debate on the role of post offices. The noble Earl, Lord Russell, has used it as a peg to raise issues concerned with the...

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: I agree that the whole debate concerns verification. Amendment No. 41 seeks to require those who claim certain benefits to produce specific evidence of their identity. We support the intention behind the amendment; namely, that barriers are put in the way of those who attempt to make claims under false names. However, I would draw the attention of noble Lords to Section 1 of the Social...

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: In future, people will still be able to go to a post office to collect their benefit in cash. They will not have to dig into their pockets and pull out a paper order book. Instead, the Post Office will hold their account and instead of, as now, their having to withdraw the whole of the order for £67 in cash and walking home with the entire week's money in their pocket, they will be able to...

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: The process of identification is something which must be discussed and explored. But the problem is no different in principle than the one the banks face now.

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: This measure will come into effect in 2003. The noble Baroness is pressing me, if I may say so, about extreme levels of detail; for example, the documentation that someone will need to produce in order to set up a Post Office account from which they can draw their money, which is portable between X and Y. That is precisely why we need a two to three year lead time of discussion to see what is...

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: I listened with great care to the piece that the noble Earl read from Crossroads. However, I did not understand the situation. Did the father know where the woman was living? Was it the fact that he was expected to pay maintenance that triggered the violence? If the father of the child did not know where the woman was living, I do not see how he could have found out simply by virtue of CSA...

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: In that case, the CSA could only have known that he was the father if the mother had given the agency his name and address, together with information about his workplace, and had not asked to be assessed on grounds of having good cause--in other words, not to name him. Therefore, because the woman had co-operated by naming him and giving all that information, presumably the CSA proceeded in...

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: The noble Earl has been helpful. I find it extraordinary that the CSA did not accept an injunction as good cause. In all my experience of the CSA I have not come across a single case of a woman being exposed to violence as a result of unauthorised disclosure of information by the CSA. The noble Earl may, however, know of other circumstances and other situations. If the person the noble Earl...

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: I consult the CAB, NACAB and other organisations on a regular basis. NACAB--to an even greater extent than the CAB--is not slow to bring cases forward. I believe that, given the information we have, we have probably explored this point as far as we can. If the noble Earl has further information, I should be happy to follow it up. However, as I say, the circumstances that he mentioned do not...

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: Amendment No. 43 seeks to remove the regulation-making power from Clause 4 which permits the Secretary of State to set procedures in respect of default and interim maintenance decisions. Does the noble Earl wish me to explain fully what the clause does? I am happy to do so but I realise the time of night. Does the noble Earl wish me to outline the purpose of the clause?

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: How could the noble Earl invite me to do something in a cursory way?

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: Every academic listening to the noble Earl should reject such a phrase. The clause substitutes a new Section 12 which allows liability to be set at a default or interim rate where it is not possible to make a decision on full liability. In the existing scheme a punitive interim maintenance assessment is imposed where full information cannot be obtained or the non-resident parent fails to...

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: If it is a default payment, yes. We do not envisage that happening very often. The kind of situation where we envisage a default payment occurring--an interim maintenance payment occurring--is where someone has, for example, been stringing the department along for quite a long period of time. The normal situation is that a maintenance assessment is sent out to someone within four to six...

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: To produce a maintenance assessment, the agency basically needs only three pieces of information: the name of the non-resident partner's employer, his net earnings and the number of children he has. That information should be able to be produced by means of a telephone call in a matter of hours. There may be occasions when a person is, for example, away on holiday, but in the normal course of...

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: Obviously, if this is regarded as unreasonable the person will have the right to go to a tribunal and to contest the matter. At the end of the day, the information required to determine an assessment is something that I suspect every person in this Chamber could produce simply by direct answer to a question and without referral to any other document. We are not talking about the complicated...

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: It is late. Basically, one needs to give a full description of what the Government are doing for lone parents to show that this is part of a balanced set of proposals. We have gone for a £10 disregard as opposed to nil in order to get parents with care to co-operate with the agency and ensure that a direct benefit goes to the children to tackle child poverty. Obviously, it is also an...

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: I do not think that there is any way in which we shall be able to determine the degree of compliance associated with the child premium as opposed to everything else we are doing--above all, making the formula so simple that CSA staff will be able to spend most of their time ensuring that there is compliance rather than trying to do a maintenance assessment which is then never delivered in...

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: As we have heard, all these amendments relate to the provisions under which the Secretary of State may agree to a variation from the normal rules of calculation. Perhaps I may spend a few moments explaining why we are making the change. We believe that simple and consistent rules will provide a clearer and more efficient child support service for children and get money flowing regularly and...

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill (8 May 2000)

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: I wonder what the noble Lord has in mind. Can he indicate to what he believes we should give particular attention?


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