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Point of Order

Volume 653: debated on Monday 28 January 2019

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. As a result of being moved on to universal credit, some disabled people lose out on vital premiums, including the severe disability premium. I have tabled multiple written questions asking how many severely disabled people have been naturally migrated or moved on to universal credit since June 2018, and the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work has responded that the information could be provided only at a disproportionate cost. That is despite information having been provided for the period between May 2015 and February 2018.

This information is of national importance, as the Government have tabled secondary legislation to backdate payments for severely disabled people who have lost out on these vital premiums as a result of moving on to universal credit. Mr Speaker, can you advise me on how I can obtain this information from the Department for Work and Pensions and ensure that it is published?

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her courtesy in giving me advance notice of her intention to raise this point of order. It is understandably frustrating, disconcerting and irritating for an hon. Member not to receive substantive replies to the questions that she or he has put, so I understand and empathise with her. It is an experience that I often had as a Back-Bench Member. The words, “Can be provided only at disproportionate cost” were always, at the very least, disappointing.

My advice to the hon. Lady is that she should make the short journey from here to the Table Office, where she can be advised as to the avenues open to her to try to extract the information. That may be through the reformulation of questions, it might be by pursuit of a debate, or it could be by use of other means to ensure the public provision of the information she seeks. The distinguished staff of the Table Office are always keen to help and, if she beetles across to the Table Office, I feel sure that they would be keen to do so.

Bill Presented

Drone (Regulation) (No.2) Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Peter Bone, supported by Esther McVey, Gordon Henderson, Jonathan Lord, Philip Davies, Henry Smith and Steve Double, presented a Bill to require drones to be marked and registered and to broadcast certain information electronically; to place restrictions on drone flight near aerodromes; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 8 February, and to be printed (Bill 325).