Draft Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002

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Malcolm Wicks: It says here, ''It has been a lively and useful debate'', followed, in brackets, by ''Don't say this if it is not true''—I made some of that up.

In all seriousness, I thank the hon. Member for Hertsmere (Mr. Clappison). He and I have discussed a number of subjects over a number of years and I thank him for his warm welcome to the Government's provisions for the newish situation regarding the terrible condition variant CJD. As he said, we are making similar amendments to provide for those suffering from other medical conditions, and I welcome his support for that.

From time to time, Governments are criticised for regulating too much and amending regulations, but situations change, not least through the recognition of various medical conditions. It is appropriate that we scrutinise our regulations and make amendments where appropriate. The hon. Gentleman has been so remarkably reasonable today that I can only hope that the reasonableness will continue in future.

Mr. Clappison: Do not bet on it.

Malcolm Wicks: I will not.

As the hon. Gentleman said, the Secretary of State recently made a statement. This is not the occasion to rehearse the arguments around those issues. The hon. Gentleman was not quite so reasonable in his remarks about the Secretary of State's timing of the statement. It was a coincidence that the statement was made on that day—it was the only day possible in a crowded parliamentary timetable.

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Members who take an interest in the serious matter of child support and how we can enable all our children, or as many as possible, to be financially maintained by both parents, will welcome the way in which the Secretary of State came to the House and explained the need to delay the introduction of the system. The Government will keep the House fully

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engaged in that debate and in the progress made in introducing the new child support arrangements. I commend the regulations to the Committee and wish everyone present a happy and sunny afternoon.

Question put and agreed to.


    That the Committee has considered the draft Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002.

        Committee rose at eighteen minutes to Five o'clock.

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The following Members attended the Committee:
Begg, Miss Anne (Chairman)
Blizzard, Mr.
Clappison, Mr.
Efford, Clive
Fisher, Mr.
Hall, Mr. Patrick
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Lyons, Mr.

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Randall, Mr.
Selous, Andrew
Simon, Mr.
Smith, Angela
Spink, Bob
Trickett, Jon
Webb, Mr.
Wicks, Malcolm

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Prepared 10 April 2002