Welfare Reform Bill Notice of Amendments tabled on 08 April 2013 for Consideration Stage

Clause 111, Page 80, Line 32

Leave out subsections (2) and (3) and insert -

‘(2) In section 109A (penalty as alternative to prosecution)-

(a)  in subsection (5) (cooling-off period) for “period of 28 days beginning with the day on which he agrees to pay it” substitute “relevant period”;

(b) after subsection (5) insert-

“(5A) In subsection (5) “the relevant period”, in relation to the agreement of any person to pay a penalty, means-

(a)  the period of 14 days beginning with the day on which he agrees to pay the penalty; or

(b) if within that period the Department or the Housing Executive agrees to an extension of the period, the period of 28 days beginning with that day.”.

(3) In section 109B (penalty as alternative to prosecution: colluding employers)-

(a)  in subsection (6) (cooling-off period) for “period of 28 days beginning with the day on which he agrees to pay it” substitute “relevant period”;

(b) after subsection (6) insert-

“(6A) In subsection (6) “the relevant period”, in relation to the agreement of the responsible person to pay a penalty, means-

(a)  the period of 14 days beginning with the day on which he agrees to pay the penalty; or

(b) if within that period the Department or the Housing Executive agrees to an extension of the period, the period of 28 days beginning with that day.”.’

Minister for Social Development

 

Clause 117, Page 88, Line 9

At end insert -

‘( ) the Department of Justice;’

Minister for Social Development

New Clause

After clause 120 insert -

‘Reports by Department

120A. In Article 76 of the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 (reports by Department) for paragraph (1) substitute-

“(1) The Department shall prepare, either annually or at such times or intervals as may be prescribed, a report on-

(a)  the standards achieved by the Department in the making of decisions against which an appeal lies to an appeal tribunal constituted under Chapter 1 of Part 2; and

(b) the operation of sanctions.

(1A) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(b) a sanction is-

(a) the reduction in the amount of an award of universal credit, a jobseeker’s allowance, income support or an employment and support allowance on account of a failure by a person to comply with any requirement or any other conduct of a person;

(b)  the loss of, or reduction in the amount of, any sanctionable benefit under the Social Security Fraud Act (Northern Ireland) 2001.

(1B) A report under paragraph (1)(b) must contain details of-

(a)  the number of persons affected by sanctions;

(b) the periods for which such persons are affected;

(c)  the reasons for which sanctions are imposed;

(d) the benefits or allowances which are reduced or lost.”.’

Minister for Social Development

New Clause

After clause 130 insert -

‘Discretionary support

130A.-(1) The Department may, in accordance with regulations under this section-

(a)  make payments by way of grant or loan to prescribed persons;

(b) provide, or arrange for the provision of, goods or services to prescribed persons.

(2) Anything done under subsection (1)(a) or (b) is referred to in this section as the provision of discretionary support.

(3) Regulations may make provision—

(a)  for the Department to provide discretionary support only in prescribed circumstances;

(b) conferring a discretion on the Department (subject to any provision made by virtue of paragraph (c) or (d))—

          (i)  as to whether or not to provide discretionary support in a particular case; and

         (ii)  as to the nature of the discretionary support and (in the case of support by way of payments) as to the amount of the payments and the period for or in respect of which they are made;

(c)  imposing a limit on the amount of the discretionary support that the Department may make in any particular case;

(d) restricting the period for or in respect of which the Department may provide discretionary support in any particular case;

(e)  for claims for discretionary support to be made in the prescribed form and manner and for the procedure to be followed in dealing with and disposing of such claims;

(f)  imposing conditions on persons claiming or receiving discretionary support requiring them to provide to the Department such information as may be prescribed;

(g)  for the disclosure of information relating to discretionary support in prescribed circumstances or to prescribed persons;

(h) authorising the Department in prescribed circumstances to recover by prescribed means discretionary payments made under this section;

(i)  requiring or authorising reviews (whether by the Department or a prescribed person) of decisions made by the Department with respect to the provision of discretionary support or the recovery of payments made under this section;

(j)  for such other matters as appear to the Department to be necessary or expedient in connection with the provision of discretionary support, including provision creating criminal offences and provision amending or applying (with or without modification) any statutory provision.

(4) In this section “prescribed” means prescribed by, or determined in accordance with, regulations under this section.

(5) Discretionary support is not to be regarded as a social security benefit; but regulations under this section may provide for any statutory provision relating to a social security benefit (or to such benefits generally) to apply with prescribed modifications to discretionary support.

(6) Regulations shall not be made under this section unless a draft of the regulations has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, the Assembly.

(7) The Department shall, in respect of each financial year, prepare and lay before the Assembly a report on the operation of regulations made under this section.’

Minister for Social Development

Clause 133, Page 95, Line 1

Leave out ‘46 to’ and insert ‘section’

Minister for Social Development

Clause 133, Page 95, Line 3

Leave out paragraph (b) and insert -

‘(b) sections 51, 52(4) and 56 (employment and support allowance);’

Minister for Social Development

 

Clause 133, Page 95, Line 5

Leave out paragraph (c)

Minister for Social Development

Clause 133, Page 95, Line 6

At end insert -

‘( ) sections 64 and 66 (industrial injuries benefit), but only for the purpose of enabling regulations to be made;

( )  sections 65, 67 and 68 (industrial injuries benefit);

( )  section 69 (housing benefit determinations);’

Minister for Social Development

Clause 133, Page 95, Line 8 

At end insert -

‘( ) sections 95 and 96(1) and (2) (benefit cap regulations);’

Minister for Social Development

Clause 133, Page 95, Line 32

Leave out paragraph (r)

Minister for Social Development

Clause 133, Page 95, Line 32

At end insert -

‘( ) section (Discretionary support);’

Minister for Social Development

Clause 133, Page 95

Leave out line 34 and insert -

‘(t) in Schedule 7, paragraphs 2, 6, 8 and 13(1) and’

Minister for Social Development

Clause 133, Page 95

Leave out lines 39 and 40 and insert -

‘(ii) in Part 3 the entries relating to paragraph 27(3)(b) of Schedule 8 to the Welfare Reform and Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 and to Part 3 of Schedule 4 to the Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2010,’

Minister for Social Development

Schedule 12, Page 134, Line 14, Column 2

At end insert -

‘( ) in subsection (5A)(b), “or the Housing Executive”;’

Minister for Social Development

Schedule 12, Page 134, Line 30, Column 2

At end insert -

‘(g) in subsection (6A)(b), “or the Housing Executive”.’

Minister for Social Development

Schedule 12, Page 139, Line 20, Column 2

At end insert -

‘In Article 76(1A)(a), the words “, income support”.’ 

Minister for Social Development

Clause 69

The Member listed below gives notice of his intention to oppose the question that Clause 69 stand part of the Bill.

Mr Steven Agnew

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