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Welfare Reform and Work Bill

Volume 769: debated on Monday 7 March 2016

Commons Reasons

Motion A

Moved by

That this House do not insist on its Amendments 8B and 8C, to which the Commons have disagreed for their Reason 8D.

8: Clause 13, leave out Clause 13.

Commons Disagreement and Reason

The Commons disagree to Lords Amendment No. 8 for the following reason

8A: Because it would alter the financial arrangements made by the Commons, and the Commons do not offer any further Reason, trusting that this Reason may be deemed sufficient.

Lords Non-Insistence and Amendments in lieu

The Lords do not insist on their Amendment 8, but do propose Amendments 8B and 8C in lieu—

8B: Clause 13, page 14, line 24, at end insert—

“(8) Subsections (2) and (3) shall not come into force until the Secretary of State has laid before both Houses of Parliament a report giving his or her estimate of the impact of the provisions in those subsections on the—

(a) physical and mental health,

(b) financial situation, and

(c) ability to return to work,

of persons who would otherwise be entitled to start claiming the work-related activity component of employment and support allowance.

(9) Regulations bringing subsections (2) and (3) into force shall not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.”

8C: Clause 31, page 28, line 2, at end insert “, subject to section 13(8) and (9)”.

Commons Disagreement and Reason

The Commons disagree with the Lords in their Amendments 8B and 8C to the Bill in lieu of Lords Amendment 8 for the following reason

8D: Because they would alter the financial arrangements made by the Commons, and the Commons do not offer any further Reason, trusting that this Reason may be deemed sufficient.

My Lords, in these opening remarks I shall cover Motion B as well. Last week the Commons considered the amendments passed by this House to place a duty on the Secretary of State to estimate further the impacts of the changes to the ESA work-related activity component and the universal credit limited capability for work element. The Commons also considered the aspect of those amendments that sought to make the commencement regulations bringing both changes into effect subject to the affirmative procedure.

The Commons voted solidly to reject those amendments, and the Motion now asks this House to accept that decision. In addition, the Commons Speaker has also ruled that these changes attract financial privilege. As noble Lords have not tabled amendments to the contrary, I will make the presumption that the House is now prepared to accept the changes, albeit with great reluctance, and will not defy convention.

I put it to noble Lords that as a House we have performed our duty. We have rigorously scrutinised the legislation to remove unintended consequences and sent back a number of concerns for the Commons to reconsider. Indeed, on the ESA work-related activity component and the universal credit limited capability for work element, we have twice asked the Commons to reflect on the measures and twice it has voted down proposed amendments with substantial majorities. I think that our duties are discharged, and there comes a point when we must accept the decision of the Commons on this financially privileged matter.

I am proud of the important work this House has done to improve and refine the Bill. I remind noble Lords of the important changes they have secured. We have put in place additional statutory protections around the publication of low-income data; we have secured exemptions from the benefit cap for recipients of carer’s allowance and guardian’s allowance; and, in the case of the limit on support through child tax credits and universal credit, we have secured exemptions for certain children being looked after by family-and-friends carers and adopted sibling groups. On the social rents measure, supported accommodation will now be excepted from the changes for one year, and across the Bill we have accepted—in full or in part—recommendations from the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee.

Speaking personally, I thank noble Lords for the precision and clarity with which they have made their arguments. It has made immeasurably easier my task of relaying the concerns back to my colleagues in the department and across government and getting an agreed response. The quality of scrutiny in this place amplifies the power of the arguments within government.

On this occasion, I will not expand on the measures at issue; we have had an extended opportunity to do so during the Bill’s passage. However, I remind the House of the improvements it has helped to secure: improved guidance for those with progressive conditions, £15 million for the flexible support fund, and removing the 52-week permitted work limit in ESA to reduce barriers to part-time work.

I am proud of the work this House does to scrutinise legislation and highlight unintended consequences—as it has in this case to improve these measures to help more sick and disabled people back into employment. It is, I believe, the right moment for the Lords to accept that it has done its job in communicating to the Commons areas of concern for it to reconsider. I am confident that noble Lords have done an excellent job in scrutinising the Bill, and I am grateful to colleagues throughout the House for a series of powerful and thoughtful speeches.

In the light of the convincing votes in the Commons and the application of financial privilege, I beg to move the Motion.

My Lords, I am deeply disappointed that we have got to where we are today with the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, but I thank the Minister for continuing to meet Members of your Lordships’ House. I and others spent a great deal of time last week working through every possibility of tabling another amendment to send this dreadful and punitive part of the Bill back to the other place. Unfortunately, because of parliamentary procedure, that was not possible. Placing financial privilege on these amendments means that the other place ultimately has its way, and it is entitled to do that—just as we were entitled and absolutely right to ask the Commons to think again.

As a Chamber appointed because of our expertise in areas such as this, we know and understand the impact this Bill will have, even if no formal impact assessment was carried out. I apologise to the people affected by this Bill that, at this point, we could not do any more. This may be the end of the legislative process, but it is the start of the negative impact the Bill will have on thousands of people’s lives. It may be seen as a victory in terms of voting numbers in another place, but we cannot forget that there are many disabled people who will lose out. That may be realised only when the letters come flooding in.

I would like to reiterate the effect of these measures. They will make it harder for disabled parents to move into or remain in work if their condition deteriorates. They will not help to halve the disability employment gap. Single parents or second earners are likely to be worse off under universal credit. Disabled parents will lose much more as, unlike in the current system, they will receive no more than a non-disabled parent and there are additional costs that are simply not covered by Access to Work. Transitional protection does not help if someone needs to reduce their hours of work after a move to universal credit. Universal credit will not provide any additional support for a disabled parent who qualifies for the limited capability for work group but who is in work. The position will be the same for those parents who become newly disabled. Compared with the current system, disabled parents will find that their financial incentive to work substantially decreases under universal credit, especially with these measures. Removing the limited capability for work element will make it harder for disabled people to move into work or to remain in work if their condition deteriorates.

Providing jobcentres with a £15 million discretionary fund, which is not ring-fenced, may help some. However, many disabled people have little in the way of savings and assets, so this will plunge people further into debt and is unlikely to make them more work-ready. We should be particularly mindful of the fact that half this group have mental health issues, autism and learning difficulties. It is unlikely that mounting debt will have any positive effect on work-readiness—quite the opposite, as our review found.

Finally, I would like to ask the Minister just one question: if Her Majesty’s Government are so convinced that they are doing the right thing, will they monitor the impact, in order to know that what they are doing will not cost any more in the long term?

My Lords, I echo my noble friend Lady Grey-Thompson’s deep regret at the Government’s rejection of my noble friend Lord Low’s amendments—amendments that were carried in this House with a considerable majority, twice. In my view, our arguments were pretty indisputable, especially with regard to the absence of evidence that cutting severely disabled people’s employment support allowance would incentivise them to work. I think that, deep down, we all know that it is attitudinal and environmental discrimination that prevents this group from accessing employment. This will be borne out very soon in the evidence of the forthcoming Select Committee report on the Equality Act and disability, which is to be launched at the end of this month.

Last week, when I listened to the Government’s arguments in the other place in the debate on the Lords amendments, I have to say that words failed me, particularly when Members were told to separate the “issue” from the more important principle of Commons primacy. I find it very difficult when the niceties of parliamentary protocol trump the lives of disabled people. However, we are where we are, and I have to salvage what I can to protect those who will undoubtedly struggle significantly to make ends meet as a result of such a severe cut to their weekly income.

The Minister has generously—and I mean that—acknowledged the deep anxiety that I and expert disability organisations feel about this policy. He has made great efforts to assure me and them that they will be fully involved in the preparation of the White Paper. He also underlined his commitment to detailing in the annual report on full employment progress towards halving the disability employment gap. He said, “No ifs, no buts. We will do it”. In good faith, I therefore withdrew my amendment on additional reporting on disability.

The Minister is asking us to have faith again today, but I hope and pray that we do not look back on this day as the moment when we pushed some of the most severely disabled people in Britain over the edge. I will try not to let that happen and I will do what I can to become involved in the White Paper and the reporting, but, this time, please will the Minister involve disabled people centrally throughout that process?

My Lords, perhaps I might be permitted to say a word about the Commons rejection of my amendment. Despite the Minister’s best efforts to soften the impact of the £30 cut in the incomes of disabled people in the employment and support allowance WRAG, which I readily acknowledge, this is a black day for disabled people. The Commons has spoken decisively and we must bow to their wishes, but we do so under protest. Do not let anyone kid you that this is democracy in action. There is more to democracy than just being elected. Questions of representativeness, accessibility, openness and responsiveness all come into it as well. From these standpoints, this House, though unelected, is much more democratic. Organisations representing the needs of poor and dispossessed people find it much easier to get their point across and have it taken on board in the House of Lords than in the House of Commons, which is more politicised and subservient to the Whips—and the Whips were certainly working overtime last Wednesday night in the House of Commons, going round handing out bribes and blandishments like there was no tomorrow.

Last week, the noble Lord, Lord Young of Cookham, took me to task for quoting selectively from the Commons debate on our amendments, but I did so because the debate ran largely one way. Last Wednesday, the Minister had a bit more support, but some telling points were still made against the Government. Commenting on the Commons reason for refusing our amendments— that is,

“Because it would alter the financial arrangements made by the Commons, and the Commons do not offer any further Reason, trusting that this Reason may be deemed sufficient”—

Neil Gray, MP for Airdrie and Shotts, said:

“So the Commons did not offer ‘any further Reason’, which I found shocking. The Government could not come up with anything else to say—no empirical evidence, no logical argument, nothing socially responsible or of any consequence. It relied on a pseudo-constitutional technicality to explain the decision to remove £30 a week from the pockets of sick and disabled people on ESA WRAG … What message does that send from this Government to ESA recipients? It says, ‘We don’t need to justify why we are cutting your ESA, we just are. We just can and we just will. We trust that this reason may be deemed sufficient’”.

Helen Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland, said:

“The Minister said that she was going to spend another £100 million on supporting these people. If her scheme was going to work, she would not need to cut this £30 from such people’s weekly income, because she would get the savings as they all moved into work. This is doomed to fail and the Minister knows it. If she was convinced that it was going to work, she would do the impact assessment, because she would be confident of the upshot. She is not doing so, and she is ignoring the very real impact that this will have on the health of the most vulnerable of our fellow citizens”.

From the Conservative Benches, Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage, said:

“I genuinely think we would not have been in this position if the White Paper had been brought forward already and we were not having to take on faith something we are not really sure is going to happen, who the Ministers will be, who will be in charge of the money, and how we are going to move forward for these disabled people”.

With those words in mind, it is essential that the White Paper focuses on better back-to-work support for disabled people and better support for employers. Jo Cox, MP for Batley and Spen, said:

“If implemented, these cuts will surely also hinder the Government’s ambition to halve the disability employment gap. Instead, they will push many disabled people further into poverty and have a significant and harmful impact on the health and wellbeing of many people, including many in my constituency”.

Accordingly, I agree with the noble Baroness, Lady Grey-Thompson, that the Government must monitor how these cuts affect disabled people, both in and out of work, and gather evidence as to the impact on disabled people’s physical and mental health and their finances as well as their ability to move towards work, as called for in your Lordships’ amendment.

A little later on, Jo Cox said that,

“it is time to listen to Macmillan, Scope, Sense and Parkinson’s UK, to the many experts who have lined up”,

to oppose the cuts to ESA. Stephen Timms said:

“The judgment that the House has to make … is whether”,

to listen to Ministers or to the organisations representing disabled people. Your Lordships have listened to disabled people, but the House of Commons, which ultimately determines how things play out, has preferred to listen to the Government, who have not been able to give any convincing reason for their decision to cut £30 a week from the incomes of 500,000 disabled people. As I said, it is a black day for those 500,000 disabled people—and for disabled people in general because this action is emblematic of the way in which this Conservative Government have chosen to treat disabled people. As Helen Goodman said:

“The fact is that Ministers are looking for large savings at the expense of the poorest and most vulnerable. That was not made clear in the general election campaign; then, the Prime Minister said that disabled people would be protected”.—[Official Report, Commons, 2/3/16; cols. 1052-58.]

By this action, the Government have betrayed the trust of disabled people and they should not be surprised if they forfeit it for the rest of their time in office.

My Lords, before the Front Benches wind up this final session on this important Bill, I am prompted to follow the noble Lord, Lord Low. I am sure that I speak for the whole House when I commend him and his colleagues on the Cross Benches who experience some of the problems facing disabled people for their work and for the contribution that they have made to the Bill—and I agree with the Minister that some of the contributions have been important. Their experience and the report of the commission chaired by the noble Lord, Lord Low, helped me to understand exactly what was at stake in some of these measures.

Concentrating on Clauses 13 and 14 and sending this back to the Commons for further consideration was the right decision. It was the right part of the Bill to concentrate on. There are a number of things that we will need to watch carefully. I support those who have said that we must now engage in careful and urgent monitoring across the piece of how the ESA support group is catered for in future. Something that particularly worries me is the perverse incentive that will now be introduced into the scheme for people to hide from the truth in terms of the statements that they make when applying for their work capability assessment, because the cliff-edge for getting into the group will be that much steeper. These things must be carefully monitored going forward.

I think that the Minister has done everything that he could and that this is a better Bill, but it is still a severe Bill that will cause hardship for the rest of this Parliament. I look forward to the discussions with colleagues on the White Paper. That will be an important moment when we can remedy some of the defects that are still in the Bill and the savings that will be occasioned by it. Mental illness and fluctuating conditions are other areas that we will need to study carefully.

Finally, over the weekend I read an interesting report from the think tank Reform, Working Welfare: A Radically New Approach to Sickness and Disability Benefits. Reform has come up with interesting ideas that are new to me and it would be reassuring if the Minister could ask his officials to look at it; some of those ideas are worth pursuing. This Bill will now go for Royal Assent and I think that the best thing the Minister can do in concluding these proceedings would be to commit himself and the department to urgent and fine-print monitoring of how it works in practice.

My Lords, perhaps I, too, may voice the disappointment that has already been expressed by other noble Lords at the outcome of the House of Commons’ decision. The amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Low, was fair and reasonable. In the end this House was left merely asking the Government to undertake a full impact assessment before they cut £30 a week in benefit to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. We must remember that these are people who have been assessed as having limited capacity for work: people with disabilities, mental health problems, autism and learning difficulties, as well as those with progressive diseases such as MS and Parkinson’s. At the very least, and not only because it is good law-making, the Government should have undertaken a full and detailed impact assessment before these cuts are introduced. Clearly, this will now not happen.

I fear the negative consequences that some may be faced with once these cuts take effect. Will they push more people into the support group? I do not know. Could they hinder their health and well-being and delay their recovery? I do not know. Which employers will create more jobs for these groups? I do not know. I could go on with the questions to which limited or no answers have been given by the Government. Instead, I suspect that the DWP may well have to deal with more complaints and appeals. And I would not be surprised if a legal challenge was mounted, particularly by people with disabilities. We are all familiar with the current legal challenge going through the courts in relation to the so-called “bedroom tax”.

The Prime Minister has stated that he wants a fairer and just society, but these cuts will not aid that ambition. We are the fifth richest country in the world. To let down people who find themselves with limited capacity to work due to circumstances beyond their control cannot be right. Coupling this with the fact that many employers are not equipped, resourced or willing to take on people with disabilities or with fluctuating work patterns, can make good employment opportunities for some of these people difficult. Cutting their benefits without a full and detailed impact assessment should not be the first thing a modern, compassionate and caring society such as ours does.

I find it difficult to square this circle when sweetheart deals are being reported between the Treasury and some multinational companies such as Facebook regarding what tax they should pay, losing billions to the public purse. As noble Lords know, I and my colleagues have looked at this Bill through the prism of work, and, like many other noble Lords, I am delighted that the Government intend to halve the employment disability gap; that is a very laudable aim. But without proper analysis and impact evaluation, I fear—as other noble Lords, including the noble Lord, Lord Low, have stated previously—that the target may become just window-dressing.

We accept that the Commons has had ample opportunity to review and accept the amendments of your Lordships’ House and, should they have wished to do so, they could have voted otherwise. For that reason, with a very heavy heart we accept that there is little more that we can do but accept the Commons’ decisions.

But before I sit down, I will take this opportunity sincerely to thank the noble Lord, Lord Freud, for the concessions that he has managed to secure and for his courteous willingness to engage so constructively throughout the Bill. However, I put him on notice—and I know that he will not expect anything less—that we on these Benches will come back robustly to the arguments on monitoring that were made in this House when the White Paper is published later in the year.

My Lords, I do not plan to make a speech; I simply want to put on record the terrible fear that has been conveyed to me by sick and disabled people at the prospect of what we are doing here today. It is very easy for us to sit here, comfortable and secure, and just pass another clause to another Bill—but for these people it is terrifying, and that terror and fear has been conveyed to me. What they face is inevitable debt. They may be people who have not been in debt before; they hate debt and are frightened of it—and of the loss of their homes. As the noble Lord, Lord Low, rightly said, this is a truly black day for these people. That is a glib phrase, some might say, but it is terribly real for people up and down the country.

I, too, applaud the Minister for what he has done to ameliorate in some small ways what I regard as the truly terrible actions of, I would say, the Treasury in imposing these cuts on the most vulnerable people in our society. I just want to pose one question to the Minister. Will he monitor the number of suicides in the year following the introduction of this cut? I am certain that there will be people who cannot face the debts and the loss of their homes and who will take their lives. If the monitoring shows what I believe this cut will do, will he assure the House that he will seriously consider reviewing this action?

My Lords, I rise to speak in support of my noble friend Lord Low. Until about a year ago, I was by no means an expert in this field, and I am still not, but I have had the privilege for nearly a year of chairing the House of Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability. This afternoon, we have listened to a litany of shameful government actions that will undermine the struggles of disabled people. Disabled people are not “them over there”; any one of us could become disabled tomorrow by an accident or an illness. This applies to all of us; it is not something to be put in a corner. I find it quite shameful that we are removing Motability cars and that we are not carrying out an impact assessment.

My conclusion is that there is nobody in the Commons to champion the rights of disabled people in a holistic manner, and that it falls to this House, which has, fortunately, a good share of disabled people and those who are experts, to do so. I want this House to put on record its dismay, disagreement and disappointment with the way that disabled people are being treated—the very people who are trying to get back to work and trying to be independent. And it could be you, tomorrow.

My Lords, as others have said, this is a sorry occasion when we have to accept that the Government will have their way on the £1,500 a year reduction in ESA WRAG and universal credit limited capability for work component for new claims from April 2017, but in doing so we should make it clear that we reject the Secretary of State’s assertion that this House was somehow usurping parliamentary procedure in asking the Commons to defer its introduction until there is a proper impact assessment. We remain concerned that, in pressing ahead with this measure, the Government have continued to fail their public sector equality duty, which is to consider the impact of their policies on the elimination of discrimination, the advancement of equality of opportunity and the fostering of good relations.

Noble Lords may have had circulated to them correspondence between the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Roger Godsiff MP, which commented on the very limited analysis of the ESA work-related activity proposals. It said:

“These are the kinds of matters that we might have expected a more thorough analysis to have considered. Without this level of evidence, the assessment does not, in our opinion, sufficiently support consideration of alternative options which might have less of an impact on people with particular protected characteristics”.

We know that the EHRC wrote to the Secretary of State last September, offering to work more closely with the DWP on the Bill, but we understand that the offer was rejected. Will the Minister confirm that that was the case?

At Third Reading, my noble friend Lady Sherlock, while acknowledging some improvements along the way—the Minister outlined those and we thank him for his engagement—asserted that this is still “a bad Bill”. My noble friend was right. The retention of Clauses 13 and 14 is a particular manifestation of its unfairness. It is therefore a regret that, given what this House considers to be the right thing to do, as expressed by strong votes, we have been unable to convince a sufficient number of the elected House to our point of view.

We hold fast to the view that including these provisions will not act as an incentive to work—quite the reverse. We remain dismayed at the paucity of the analysis that underpins the Government’s position and their refusal to hold back until a proper impact assessment has been undertaken. It seems perverse in the extreme to rush ahead with these changes and at the same time promise the publication of a White Paper to address in part the disability employment gap. It is not helped much, either, by some meagre concessions that bring some uncertainties in their wake.

We should express our thanks to the noble Lord, Lord Low, for the leadership that he has shown on this issue, and for the work that he and the noble Baronesses, Lady Meacher, Lady Grey-Thompson and Lady Campbell, have done in the Halving the Gap? review. It seems to us that this stands in stark contrast with the Government’s effort by helping us better to understand the lives which many disabled people live, their aspirations for work, the barriers that they face to getting and sustaining work, and the poverty and poor health which challenges so many of their lives—issues that are brought home to us also by the work of the Disability Benefits Consortium. As we have heard, it has asserted that these clauses will bring savings of £640 million to government by the last year of this Parliament. In a couple of weeks’ time we will hear from the Chancellor who is to be favoured in his next Budget. We will hold in our minds the price that is being extracted from disabled people as a contribution. But our task in the mean time, as others have said, is to continue to press the Government on how these cuts are affecting disabled people both in and out of work and, as the DBC urges, to argue for a proper impact assessment about the consequences for their physical and mental health, and for their finances.

I thank noble Lords for their contributions. I reiterate that we are committed to working with interested Peers to improve the existing guidance around the progressive conditions and the reassessment. I share the aim of getting greater awareness among people suffering from these conditions—that is awareness in the jobcentre and the disability charities, and with claimants. I have asked officials to set up a meeting with that group of Peers on that work as soon as diaries can be juggled together—soon.

I pay tribute, along with other Peers, to the group of Cross-Bench Peers who have argued so passionately against the changes that we are introducing in ESA WRAG and the universal credit limited capability for work provisions. I refer, of course, to the noble Lord, Lord Low, and the noble Baronesses, Lady Campbell, Lady Grey-Thompson and Lady Meacher. I assure them that we have heard what they said and that those concerns will be right at the forefront of our minds—certainly of my mind—as we work with ministerial colleagues to finalise the White Paper.

The main question I have been asked by a number of noble Lords—the noble Lord, Lord Low, the noble Baroness, Lady Grey-Thompson, the noble Lord, Lord Kirkwood, and the noble Baroness, Lady Manzoor—concerns the assessment. The context of that will be the White Paper that we are producing. As we consider the White Paper, I will make sure that we look very hard at the right way to make the assessment. The noble Lord, Lord Kirkwood, referred to making an assessment across the piece, but, clearly, within that we will look at this area as well.

I say to the noble Baroness, Lady Meacher, that the monitoring of suicides will not be included in the assessment. It is such a difficult and fraught area. Suicide is always a tragedy and a lot of different reasons are always involved. We look at a number of suicides but on a private basis, as a lot of the information cannot be shared, so that is not a useful approach. I know that because I have looked at this several times as those tragedies have come up.

The Minister says that some of this information cannot be given away. Obviously, you cannot give away any personal information. However, if, for example, the suicide rate in that group is 10% or 20% higher in the year after the introduction of this cut than in the year before, it should be perfectly possible to make that information public, and surely it would be highly significant. If the department could issue that sort of figure, I would be very grateful.

We have recently produced a large analysis on this, which I will send to the noble Baroness. That analysis makes it absolutely clear that you cannot make these causal links between the likelihood of dying—however you die—and the fact that someone is claiming benefit. As I say, I will send that analysis to the noble Baroness but I wanted to make that absolutely clear now rather than set hares running.

As regards the point made by the noble Lord, Lord McKenzie, the Secretary of State has been absolutely clear that the impact assessments that we have used provide the most robust analysis that is available. The White Paper will touch on many issues related to health, disability and work, and will cover a lot of new ground which we have not had the chance to debate in the context of these provisions. I commit to taking on board views directly from the group, as a number of noble Lords have requested. We will seek those views, and value them, as we aim to get better outcomes for disabled people and those with health conditions. Therefore, I hope that noble Lords agree that in the context that we are talking about there is no need to test the opinion of the House on this matter. I beg to move.

Motion A agreed.

Motion B

Moved by

That this House do not insist on its Amendments 9B and 9C, to which the Commons have disagreed for their Reason 9D.

9: Clause 14, leave out Clause 14.

Commons Disagreement and Reason

The Commons disagree to Lords Amendment No. 9 for the following reason

9A: Because it would alter the financial arrangements made by the Commons, and the Commons do not offer any further Reason, trusting that this Reason may be deemed sufficient.

Lords Non-Insistence and Amendments in lieu

The Lords do not insist on their Amendment 9, but do propose Amendments 9B and 9C in lieu—

9B: Clause 14, page 14, line 27, at end insert—

“(2) This section shall not come into force until the Secretary of State has laid before both Houses of Parliament a report giving his or her estimate of the impact of the provision in this section on the—

(a) physical and mental health,

(b) financial situation, and

(c) ability to return to work,

of persons who would otherwise be entitled to start claiming the limited capability for work element of universal credit.

(3) Regulations bringing this section into force shall not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.”

9C: Clause 31, page 28, line 2, at end insert “and subject to section 14(2) and (3)”.

Commons Disagreement and Reason

The Commons disagree with the Lords in their Amendments 9B and 9C to the Bill in lieu of Lords Amendment 9 for the following reason

9D: Because they would alter the financial arrangements made by the Commons, and the Commons do not offer any further Reason, trusting that this Reason may be deemed sufficient.

Motion B agreed.