Welfare Reform Bill Annotated Marshalled List of Amendments Further Consideration Stage Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Amendments tabled up to 9.30 am Thursday, 19 February 2015 and selected for debate

Amendment 1 [Negatived on division]

Clause 10, Page 4, Line 38

At end insert -

‘(3A) Where an additional amount under subsection (2) can be awarded at two different rates, the lower rate shall be no less than two thirds of the higher rate.’

Mr Steven Agnew

Amendment 2 [Not moved]

Clause 26, Page 13, Line 14

At end insert -

‘(c) the production of explanatory documentation on sanctions to be given to the claimant prior to the imposition of a sanction.’

Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Alex Attwood
Mr Alban Maginness
Mr Pat Ramsey

Amendment 3 [Not moved]

Clause 27, Page 13, Line 36

At end insert -

‘(c) the production of explanatory documentation on sanctions to be given to the claimant prior to the imposition of a sanction.’

Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Alex Attwood
Mr Alban Maginness
Mr Pat Ramsey

Amendment 4 [Not moved]

Clause 30, Page 15, Line 20

At end insert -

‘( ) An authorised person under this section is a person exercising a function or functions of a public nature.

( ) Section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 shall apply to an authorised person as defined under this section.’

Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Alex Attwood
Mr Alban Maginness
Mr Pat Ramsey

Amendment 5 [Negatived without division]

Clause 44, Page 21, Line 17

Leave out sub-paragraphs (iv) to (vi)

Mr Steven Agnew

Amendment 6 [Not moved]

Clause 44, Page 21, Line 22

Leave out sub-paragraphs (ix) to (xi)

Mr Steven Agnew

Amendment 7 [Not called]

Clause 44, Page 21, Line 29

At end insert -

‘(3A) Regulations to which this subsection applies shall not be made unless a draft of the regulations has been laid before and approved by a resolution of the Assembly.

(3B) Subsection (3A) applies to regulations under any of the following alone or with other regulations—

(a) section 9(2) and (3) (standard allowance);

(b) section 10(3) and (4) (children and young persons element);

(c) section 11 (housing costs element);

(d) section 19(2)(d) (claimants subject to no work-related requirements);

(e) sections 26 and 27 (sanctions);

(f) section 28 (hardship payments).’

Mr Steven Agnew

Amendment 8 [Not moved]

Clause 47, Page 25, Line 40

At end insert -

‘(c) the production of explanatory documentation on sanctions to be given to the claimant prior to the imposition of a sanction.’

Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Alex Attwood
Mr Alban Maginness
Mr Pat Ramsey

Amendment 9 [Not moved]

Clause 47, Page 26, Line 29

At end insert -

‘(c) the production of explanatory documentation on sanctions to be given to the claimant prior to the imposition of a sanction.’

Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Alex Attwood
Mr Alban Maginness
Mr Pat Ramsey

Amendment 10 [Not moved]

Clause 47, Page 28, Line 12

At end insert -

‘(c) the production of explanatory documentation on sanctions to be given to the claimant prior to the imposition of a sanction.’

Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Alex Attwood
Mr Alban Maginness
Mr Pat Ramsey

Amendment 11 [Negatived on division]

Clause 70, Page 56, Line 32

At end insert -

‘(6) Regulations may not provide for the reduction of an existing award where a claimant declines the offer of suitable alternative accommodation.’

Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Alex Attwood
Mr Alban Maginness
Mr Pat Ramsey

Amendment 12 [Made without division]

Clause 78, Page 59, Line 6

Leave out ‘making personal independence payments’ and insert ‘personal independence payment’

Minister for Social Development

Amendment 13 [Made without division]

Clause 81, Page 60, Line 32

Leave out subsection (3)

Minister for Social Development

Amendment 14 [Made without division]

Clause 81, Page 60, Line 39

Leave out paragraph (c) and insert -

‘(c) must provide for relevant medical evidence to be taken into account in assessing a person and may make provision about other matters which are, or are not, to be taken into account.’

Minister for Social Development

Amendment 15 [Negatived on division]

Clause 89, Page 64, Line 24

At end insert -

‘(3A) A person entitled to personal independence payment shall receive the award no later than 16 weeks after the date on which a claim for it is made or treated as made.’

Mr Steven Agnew

Amendment 16 [Not moved]

New Clause

After clause 103 insert -

‘Appeal in respect of sanction imposed under this Act 103A. After Article 15 of the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 there is inserted—

“Appeal in connection with sanctions

15A. Where the amount of an award of any social security benefit is to be reduced as a consequence of any failure by a claimant which is sanctionable under the Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2015—

(a) a claimant is entitled to an appeal hearing within four weeks of the notice of sanction being issued; and

(b) the amount of any relevant award shall not be reduced before the appeal is decided.”’

Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Alex Attwood
Mr Alban Maginness
Mr Pat Ramsey

Amendment 17 [Negatived on division]

New Clause

After clause 120 insert -

‘Duty to ensure access to independent advice

120A.—(1) The Department shall ensure that any person making a claim under this Act shall be entitled to have access to independent confidential advice and assistance provided free of charge in relation to making a claim under this Act.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) the Department must bring forward guidance on the independent confidential advice and assistance which is to be developed in consultation with the Northern Ireland Advice Services Consortium, within 3 months of the commencement of this section.’

Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Alex Attwood
Mr Steven Agnew

Amendment 18 [Made without division]

Clause 121, Page 88, Line 26

Leave out ‘and’ and insert -

‘(aa) the standards of advice and assistance provided under section 132B of the Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2015; and’

Minister for Social Development

Amendment 19 [Negatived on division]

New Clause

After clause 121 insert -

‘Duty to report on operation of this Act

121A.—(1) The Department must, not later than 3 years after this Act receives Royal Assent, publish an independent report on the operation of this Act.
(2) The Department must lay the report before the Assembly.’

Mr Steven Agnew

Amendment 20 [Made without division]

Clause 130, Page 92, Line 26

After ‘housing benefit’ insert ‘or universal credit’

Minister for Social Development

Amendment 21 [Negatived without division]

Clause 131, Page 93, Line 39

At end insert -

‘(6A) Regulations may not provide for the reduction of an existing award where a claimant declines the offer of alternative accommodation.’

Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Alex Attwood
Mr Alban Maginness
Mr Pat Ramsey

Amendment 22 [Made without division]

New Clause

After clause 132 insert -

‘Payments to persons suffering financial disadvantage

Payments to persons suffering financial disadvantage

132A.—(1) The purpose of this section is to enable the Department to make payments to persons who suffer financial disadvantage as a result of the changes to social security benefits and tax credits contained in this Act and the Welfare Reform Act 2012.

(2) The Department may by regulations make provision for the purpose mentioned in subsection (1).

(3) Regulations under this section may in particular make provision—

(a) for determining whether a person has suffered financial disadvantage as a result of the changes mentioned in subsection (1) and, if so, the amount of that disadvantage;

(b) for determining eligibility for payments, including provision for payments to be made only in prescribed circumstances or only to persons who meet prescribed conditions;

(c) for determining—

(i) the amount of payments;

(ii) the period or periods for or in respect of which payments are to be made;

(d) for claims for payments to be made in prescribed cases and in the prescribed form and manner and for the procedures to be followed in dealing with and disposing of such claims;

(e) for payments to be made in prescribed cases without any claim being made;

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

(g) for payments to cease to be made in prescribed circumstances;

(h) for the disclosure of information relating to payments in prescribed circumstances or to prescribed persons;

(i) for the recovery of payments by the Department in prescribed circumstances;

(j) requiring or authorising reviews (whether by the Department or by prescribed persons) of decisions made by the Department with respect to the making or recovery of payments;

(k) imposing functions on a statutory body other than the Department in connection with the administration of the regulations;

(l) for such other matters as appear to the Department to be necessary or appropriate in connection with the making of payments including provision creating criminal offences and provision amending or applying (with or without modification) any statutory provision.

(4) Payments are 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 in relation to payments.

(5) The Department shall, in respect of each financial year in which payments are made, prepare and lay before the Assembly a report on the payments made in that year.

(6) No regulations shall be made under this section unless a draft of the regulations has been laid before, and approved by resolution of, the Assembly.

(7) If regulations under this section impose functions on any statutory body other than the Department, the Department must consult that body before making the regulations.

(8) A power conferred by this section to make regulations includes power—

(a) to make such incidental, supplementary, consequential or transitional provision as appears to the Department to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of those regulations;

(b) to provide for the Department to exercise a discretion in dealing with any matter.

(9) In this section—

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations under this section;

“payment” mean a payment under this section;

“statutory body” means a body established by or under a statutory provision.’

Minister for Social Development

Amendment 23 [Made without division]

New Clause

After clause 132 insert -

‘Duties of the Department

Duty to ensure availability of advice and assistance

132B. The Department must ensure that advice and assistance are made available free of charge to persons making a claim under this Act in connection with that claim.’

Minister for Social Development

Amendment 24 [Made without division]

New Clause

After clause 132 insert -

‘Duty to report on operation of this Act

132C.—(1) The Department must, not later than 3 years after this Act receives Royal Assent, publish a report on the operation of this Act.

(2) The Department must lay the report before the Assembly.’

Minister for Social Development

Amendment 25 [Not moved]

New Clause

After clause 132 insert -

‘Review

132D. The Northern Ireland Joint Standards Committee for the Social Security Agency and Child Maintenance Service shall monitor the standards and quality of decision making with regard to the sanctions defined under this Act and report to the Social Security Agency and Child Maintenance Service on an annual basis.’

Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Alex Attwood
Mr Alban Maginness
Mr Pat Ramsey

Amendment 26 [Made without division]

Clause 135, Page 95, Line 37

At end insert -

‘( ) section 132A (payments to persons suffering financial disadvantage);

( ) section 132B (duty to ensure availability of advice and assistance);

( ) section 132C (review of this Act);’

Minister for Social Development

Amendment 27 [Not moved]

Schedule 1, Page 99

Leave out lines 3 to 7

Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Alex Attwood
Mr Alban Maginness
Mr Pat Ramsey

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