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December 18, 2015

A press release:

The House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee will next week take oral evidence from the Lord Freud, Minister of State for Welfare Reform on the quality of information that the Department for Work and Pensions has provided in support of statutory instruments.

Since the general election the Committee has published three reports criticising DWP for failing to provide sufficient explanation alongside its Statutory Instruments to enable it to gain a clear understanding of the effect of the instrument under consideration. The Committee has therefore invited the Minister to attend and discuss how his department can do a better job in meeting the Committee’s information requirements.

The Evidence session will start at 12:00 on Tuesday 22 December in Committee Room 3A of the House of Lords

Lord Freud is the Minister for Welfare Reform at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and as such may make statutory instruments that set out new or revised legislation on social security benefits.

The instruments that have caused the Committee particular concern were:

 Universal Credit (Waiting Days) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/1362) (see 3rd, 4th and 5th Reports)

 Social Security (Housing Costs Amendments) Regulations (SI 2015/1647) (see 9th and 11th Reports)

 Housing Benefit (Abolition of the Family Premium and Date of Claim Amendment) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/1857) (see 17th Report)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 18, 2015 4:07 pm

    Reblogged this on Politics and Insights and commented:
    The lack of transparency and accountability is something that has concerned me since 2012. As someone who has used the Freedom of Information Act frequently to try and push for greater transparency and democratic accountability, I can say that there is a deeply concerning gap between the justification narratives being presented by the government for their policies, and the reality of the impact of those policies. My requests to the Department for Work and Pensions have not once been met a coherent, rational response, and the DWP have regularly refused to meet my requests for information.

  2. December 19, 2015 12:08 pm

    My two examples are:
    1. The PIP regulations for transition from DLA to PIP do not adequately cover the situation where a DLA recipient discovers she has a terminal illness. A DLA transferee will be paid weeks later under the emergency regs than a first time PIP claimant. Sheffield CAB discovered the lacuna (the claimant died before payment), the DWP and Minister (Tomlinson) responded with “there are winners and losers under any system”. It is only by working with Sheffield Central MP, Paul Blomfield and his staff that an amendment has been introduced under the Welfare Reform Bill and finally accepted by the government only to be told on Friday that it will not be implemented “until the Spring”.
    2. The Upper Tier Tribunal decision recently that under the PIP regulations, sitting on a bed to dress and undress could be said to be using an aid/adaptation and so worth two points. The DWP have protested that this was clearly not what was intended and so will introduce changes to regs. The judge rejected their protestations saying that drafters of regulations should have enough experience to get it right first time. The judge was implicitly also putting faith in the scrutiny process which is letting us down big style.

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