Bishop of St Albans asks Government about changes to bereavement benefit payments

On 9th April 2019 Lord Polak asked the Government ” what discussions they have had, and with whom, about the impact of the changes to bereavement benefit for parents with dependent children that were made in April 2017.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, it is two years since this came in, so we have quite a lot of evidence. Will the Minister assure the House that the review is totally independent, and that we will be able to see all the working out of what is proposed and the analysis? A large number of noble Lords are deeply concerned about this. Would the Minister be willing to meet with us to discuss how we might take it forward.

Baroness Stedman-Scott: I must tell noble Lords that in every evaluation I have been involved in I have been absolutely behind an independent process. I do not know whether the department plans to have an independent evaluation, but I will certainly take that point back. As always, I am very happy to meet noble Lords to explore issues and new ideas, and obviously how these are resourced.