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Supplementary Benefit (Requirements And Resources) Miscellaneous Amendment Regulations 1986

Volume 478: debated on Friday 18 July 1986

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4 p.m.

My Lords, these are two amendments to two existing regulations discussed previously. I commend these regulations to the House, and I beg to move the first of them.

Moved, That the draft regulations laid before the House on 18th June be approved. [ 28th Report from the Joint Committee].—( Baroness Trumpington.)

My Lords, I will not detain the House for very long. I am very sorry that we have received these two regulations on social security points so late. Obviously, the Government have a very unfriendly idea about how we should proceed in these matters; but, because it is so late and because there are so many detailed matters to consider and to discusss, I propose that we shall not enter into debate tonight. I hope that on another occasion I can write to the noble Baroness and then we can try to sort out some of these matters. I am not asking the House to approve these regulations because I do not like some of them, but I am proposing that we do not oppose them.

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness for speaking so briefly to the regulations. I simply want to ask her two questions. The first question concerns the effect on students which the noble Baroness indicated in col. 901 of the Official Report of 18th June, which indicated that 260,000 students would suffer some loss and that this loss would vary according to their individual circumstances. I wonder whether the losses could be broken down more accurately so that we may see the full effect of the Government's revised proposals.

My second question concerns the second of the orders and it involves the blind. It appears that blind people under pensionable age in residential care will now receive £ 180 a week, while those over pensionable age will receive only £140 a week. This was a question raised by my noble friend Lord Banks on 18th June, and I would like to ask the Government to reconsider this matter in view of the fact that more than three-quarters of blind people become blind after pensionable age. Therefore, the decision seems rather inequitable. Could the Government look into this and let me have their views in writing?

My Lords, I am extremely grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Jeger, and to the noble Lord, Lord Kilmarnock. I will of course write to the noble Lord and I am very appreciative of the attitude taken by the noble Baroness.

On Question, Motion agreed to.