Rent Officers (Housing Benefit Functions) Amendments Order 2010
Motion to Resolve
To resolve that this House considers that because of the uncertain impact on children, homelessness and local authority resources of the Housing Benefit (Amendment) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/2835) and the Rent Officers (Housing Benefit Functions) Amendments Order 2010 (SI 2010/2836), the Government should commission an independent review in their effects, to conclude one year after they have come into force, and annually thereafter, and present the report of each review to both Houses of Parliament.
My Lords, I, too, thank everybody for participating. I think that every speaker has supported my Motion, which is entirely gratifying. I hope that that sends a strong message to the Government about the level of support that there is on this issue and, indeed, a message to the world outside. The Minister, to whom I am very grateful, has promised us a genuinely independent and comprehensive review. On the timing, he has promised—I think that I have got this right—preliminary findings after one year, an interim report later in 2012 and a full report presented to both Houses of Parliament and accompanied by a ministerial Statement in early 2013, with a requirement on the authors of the report to tell us whether a further report thereafter—an annual one or whatever—might be necessary.
The many charities that have briefed us and the other professional bodies will follow the progress of these reviews extremely carefully. If, as I suspect, some of those red lights that the noble Lord, Lord Kirkwood, mentioned start flashing quite early, I think that there must be an implied commitment, in setting up this review, to the Government’s changing course if that is necessary—perhaps in quite a radical way. I thank the noble Lord, Lord Freud, very much. I hope that all my noble friends and colleagues, including those who have been on standby in case this went to a vote, will agree that there has been an important outcome to this debate and that we have gone as far as we can tonight.
Motion not moved.