Bishop of St Albans asks about negative impact on adoption figures of Welfare Bill proposals

On 8th December 2015 Baroness King of Bow asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the drop in the number of children being placed for adoption”. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith asked a follow up question on measures in the Welfare Reform and Work Bill:

Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, just last night in this Chamber, noble Lords discussed amendments to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill which sought to exclude kinship carers and adoptive parents from the two-child limit in tax credits. Given the worrying decline in the number of adoptions, this seems an eminently sensible proposal. If things go through as they are at the moment, this would act as a significant financial disincentive for some families to take on extra children as kinship carers or adoptive parents. This House was told last night that that is not being considered in the present Bill, but no reasons were given. Will the Minister explain why this very helpful suggestion is not being taken up?

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education (Lord Nash) (Con): I know this was debated last night, but it is way off my brief. I am sure that Ministers will listen to what was said.

Baroness Lister of Burtersett (Lab): My Lords, following up on the question asked by the right reverend Prelate, what is the Government’s assessment of the impact of the Bill to which he was referring on the number of children placed for adoption?

Lord Nash: I have just said that this was discussed in some detail last night.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton (Lab): My Lords, will the Minister do me the following courtesy? I am sure he will feel that he needs to add to the answer he gave to the right reverend Prelate. Will he please send copies of that answer to me and other noble Lords with an interest in this area? Merely to say that it is not within his brief does not fully answer the question.

Lord Nash: I will certainly do as the noble Baroness suggests.




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