To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will introduce legislation to reinstate the requirement on his Department's officers to promote the welfare of claimants.
The welfare promotion requirement which was appropriate to the discretionary schemes which preceded it was not essential to income support which provides a clearer, more predictable method of directing extra help, through the award of premiums, to groups of people most likely to have extra needs. The Department was thus able to develop a prompt, accurate and effectively-run income maintenance system. The Benefits Agency includes customer care as the primary core value in its operations. At a local level, managers are committed to consulting their customers to establish their needs and expectations for service delivery and responding accordingly. We have no plans to alter the current provisions.