The Northern Ireland Assembly has been dissolved. The election will take place on Thursday 5 May 2016.

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 17 October 2012

Venue: Room 144, Parliament Buildings

The meeting began in public session at 10:11am.          

1. Apologies

Apologies were as indicated above.

2. Chairperson’s Business

The Chairperson advised Members that tomorrow’s meeting will begin in closed session to receive procedural advice on Standing Order 35

Mr Sammy Douglas joined the meeting at 10.12am

3. Welfare Reform Bill – Departmental Briefing

The following officials from the Department joined the meeting at 10.13am

Ms Anne McCleary;

Mr Michael Pollock;

Mr Mickey Kelly; and

Ms Jane Corderoy

Mr Mark H Durkan and Mr Michael Copeland joined the meeting at 10.16am                      

The officials briefed the Committee on Clauses 76 - 94 of the Bill.

Mr David McClarty joined the meeting at 10.41am

The Committee agreed to return to Clauses 107 – 115 which were deferred from the previous meeting.

Mr Mickey Kelly left the meeting at 11.30am.

The Departmental official, Mr Conrad McConnell joined the meeting at 11.30am.

The officials briefed the Committee on Clauses 107-115 of the Bill.

Mr Conrad McConnell left the meeting at 11.55am

The Chairperson suspended the meeting at 11.55am.

The Committee reconvened at 12.33pm.

The Departmental official, Mr Maurice Byrne joined the meeting at 12.33pm

The officials briefed the Committee on Clauses 121-133 of the Bill.

The briefing was recorded by Hansard.

The Chairperson thanked the officials for their attendance.

The officials left the meeting at 13.10pm.

Agreed: The Committee agreed for the Department to respond to the following questions at later date:

Clause 76

Confirmation on whether Disability Working Allowance will exist in the benefit system.

Clause 84

Clarification on whether claimants in Supported Housing will receive the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment.

Clause 85

Clarification on whether a claimant who has been admitted to hospital has to have run-on period of 28 days after they leave hospital for their DLA award to continue.

Clarification on whether the period you can be hospital for and still receive your DLA been reduced to 28 days.

Clause 108

Confirmation on whether the NI Housing Executive can prosecute all tenants in receipt of Housing Benefit who commit fraud.

Clause 113

Clarification on whether the regulations will address the issue of when claimant is released from prison and returns to the family household. Will this result in a change of circumstances and a fresh claim having to be made.

Clause 123

Clarification on whether payment in kind will be included in the regulations.

Clause 125

Clarification on the maximum amount of allowed to be taken from a non-resident    parent.

Clause 129

Confirmation on whether the Secretary of State has the power, under the Social Security Administration Act, to overrule a decision by the Assembly relating to the provisions of the Bill.

The Department are asked to provide examples of reciprocal arrangements here.

A Member asked how the Department arrived at the figures relating to the estimated net effect of the Bill on benefit expenditure and asked for sight of a formula if one was used.

4. Any Other Business

There was no other business

5. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will take place at 10:00am on Thursday 18 October 2012 in Room 29 Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 13.11pm.

Mr Alex Maskey
Chairperson, Committee for Social Development.
25 October 2012

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