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Point of Order

Volume 603: debated on Monday 7 December 2015

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. In Work and Pensions questions earlier, I asked about the Access to Work programme, which helps disabled people to attain and retain work. In response, the Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the hon. Member for North West Cambridgeshire (Mr Vara), stated that Access to Work use was at record levels. According to DWP figures published in October, in 2014-15 there were 36,760 users, but in 2009-10 there were 37,270. Mr Speaker, will you encourage the Minister either to correct the record or provide the House with information on the statistics he was referring to, or encourage him to make a broader statement that might actually answer the original question?

A better recourse is for the hon. Gentleman to make the short journey to the Table Office and pose further questions. I do not know which baseline year the Minister had in mind when making his comparison, and nor—I gently add—is it my responsibility to know. The hon. Gentleman is an adroit and ingenious contributor to our proceedings, and his head will almost certainly now be filled with a series of follow-up questions that encapsulate his dissatisfaction with what he has heard so far. He should make full use of the questioning system, whether the Minister likes it or not, and I have a hunch that that is precisely what he will now do.