Social Security Bill — Short title, commencement and extent — 10 Dec 1997

Amendment made: No. 18, in page 47, line 24, leave out


(b) in subsections (2) and' and insert--

'(b) in subsection (2), for the words "12 months", in the second place where they occur, there shall be substituted the words "one month"; and

(c) in subsection'.-- [Mr. Keith Bradley.]

No. 35, in page 66, line 8, leave out

'In paragraph 2 of Schedule 4A to that Act'

and insert

'In paragraph 1 of Schedule 4A to that Act (interpretation), the definition of "review" shall cease to have effect.

( ) In paragraph 2 of that Schedule'.

No. 36, in page 66, line 9, after 'directions)', insert '(a)'.

No. 37, in page 66, line 10, at end insert


(b) in sub-paragraph (c), for the words "a departure application and a review are to be dealt with" there shall be substituted the words "a decision on a departure application and a decision under section 16 or 17 are to be made".'.

No. 38, in page 75, leave out lines 8 to 10 and insert--

'84. In section 164 of that Act (destination of payments etc.), subsection (5)(a) shall cease to have effect.'.

No. 25, in page 77, leave out lines 38 and 39 and insert--

'(a) for sub-paragraph (a) there shall be substituted the following sub-paragraph--

"(a) Appeal tribunals'.

No. 26, in page 77, line 42, leave out 'paragraph' and insert 'sub-paragraph'.

No. 27, in page 77, leave out lines 45 and 46 and insert--

'(a) for sub-paragraph (a) there shall be substituted the following sub-paragraph--

"(a) Appeal tribunals constituted under'.

No. 28, in page 80, line 33, at end insert--

'.--(1) In subsection (3) of section 16 of that Act (severe hardship), for paragraph (b) there shall be substituted the following paragraph--

"(b) it appears to him that the person concerned has, without good cause--

(i) neglected to avail himself of a reasonable opportunity of a place on a training scheme; or

(ii) after a place on such a scheme has been notified to him by an employment officer as vacant or about to become vacant, refused or failed to apply for it or to accept it when offered to him; or".

(2) For subsection (4) of that section there shall be substituted the following subsection--

"(4) In this section--

'employment officer' means an officer of the Secretary of State or such other person as may be designated for the purposes of this section by an order made by the Secretary of State;

'period' includes--

(a) a period of a determinate length;

(b) a period defined by reference to the happening of a future event; and

(c) a period of a determinate length but subject to earlier determination upon the happening of a future event;

'training scheme' has such meaning as may be prescribed.".'

No. 29, in page 80, line 33, at end insert--

'.--(1) In subsection (2) of section 17 of that Act (reduced payments), for the word "either" there shall be substituted the word "any".

(2) In subsection (3) of that section, for paragraph (b) there shall be substituted the following paragraphs--

Amendments made: No. 42, in page 83, line 15, column 3, after 'qualified', insert'adjudicating'.

No. 43, in page 84, line 51, column 3, at end insert 'Section 51(2)(b).'.

No. 44, in page 85, line 10, column 3, after 'Schedule 4A,', insert

'in paragraph 1 the definition of "review",'.

No. 45, in page 85, line 51, column 3, at end insert 'Section 164(5)(a).'.

No. 46, in page 87, line 10, leave out '23' and insert '23(1)'.

No. 47, in page 87, line 13, column 3, at end insert--

'In Schedule 8, paragraphs 21(1) and 23.'.

No. 48, in page 87, line 39, at end insert--

'1996 c.23.

Arbitration Act 1996.

In Schedule 3, paragraph 54.'.

-- [Mr. Keith Bradley.]

No. 20, in page 52, line 8, after 'this section,' insert 'and

(b) section 50 so far as relating to a sum which is chargeable to tax by virtue of section 313 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988,'.-- [Mr. Keith Bradley.]

Order for Third Reading read .

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

The Bill is an important step towards our aim of building a modern, fair and efficient welfare service that commands the support of everyone in society. It lays the foundations for transforming the future delivery of welfare and for eradicating the failures of the past.

The Bill has received rigorous and constructive scrutiny, both in Committee and in today's debates. I am grateful to all the Committee members for their work and, in particular, to the Chairmen, my hon. Friend the Member for Knowsley, South (Mr. O'Hara) and the hon. Member for North Thanet (Mr. Gale). I also thank my ministerial team--the Under-Secretaries of State for Social Security, my hon. Friends the Members for Manchester, Withington (Mr. Bradley) and for Southampton, Itchen (Mr. Denham)--for the tremendous amount of hard work that they have put into the Bill, taking it through the House thus far.

Today, we have had extensive and wide-ranging debates that have focused on just two clauses: on backdating and lone parents. Perhaps the House will allow me to mention briefly the other 79 clauses in the Bill. Those clauses pave the way for us to modernise the system that we inherited from the last Administration--a confusing system of incomprehensible rules, laborious form filling and complex processes that trap millions of people on benefit who want to work. That system is both unacceptable and unsustainable.

This Government believe that welfare should focus on investing in people's opportunities and success, which means providing an integrated service--a service that concentrates on meeting the needs of those whom it is intended to help, and is not constrained by artificial organisational boundaries. That is better government. It means recognising that individuals' lives do not easily fit into departmental boxes, and working throughout Government making use of new information technology to deliver a complete modern service to the citizen.

Service delivery is central to our approach to welfare reform. Our services must actively help people to move from welfare into work, where they can be much better off than they would ever be on benefits. Our services must be focused on what clients need; they must ensure that help goes to those who need it, not to the fraudsters who would rip off the system; they must be efficient, and offer the best possible deal to clients, taxpayers and our staff. That is what we mean by an active, modern service.

The Bill lays the foundations for the provision of such a service. It paves the way for a modern, integrated service, enabling people to give us information just once in a way that is convenient for them. We shall then be able to advise them how that affects all their dealings with the Department. The Bill will create a much simpler decision-making process, reducing the number of types of decision maker from six to one--who will act on my behalf--and enabling decisions to be presented quickly,

10 Dec 1997 : Column 1132

correctly and in a way that is easy to understand. It will enable us to provide a streamlined, straightforward system for claimants to appeal against decisions to an independent tribunal, cutting out unnecessary duplications and frustrating delays.

Question put , That the Bill be now read the Third time:--

The House divided: Ayes 295, Noes 58.

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (Aye)Minority (No)BothTurnout
Con0 000.0%
DUP0 1050.0%
Independent Conservative1 00100.0%
Lab294 (+2 tell) 5072.2%
LDem0 38 (+2 tell)087.0%
PC0 40100.0%
SNP0 60100.0%
UUP0 4040.0%
Total:295 58055.1%

Rebel Voters - sorted by name

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

Mr Tony BennChesterfieldLabno
Jeremy CorbynIslington NorthLabno
Mr Bernie GrantTottenhamLabno
John Martin McDonnellHayes and HarlingtonLabno
Dennis SkinnerBolsoverLab (minister)no

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