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Baroness Hollis of Heigham: Can the Minister give further clarification? He used the word "parent" but did not at the key moment say whether he was talking about an absent parent, the parent with care, or a second parent. What would be the situation if, in the second family, the new wife brought her own child with her (who was therefore the step-child of the absent father) who was disabled and that mother was in receipt of ICA but the absent father was in work. A calculation is then made as to the protected income. Would her ICA be protected?

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: I might just remind the noble Baroness of what I said earlier in reply to the noble Earl, Lord Russell. The second wife's income is

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relevant only in protected income, which can only serve to reduce liability, not increase it. I suspect therefore—I shall check because we are getting into rather complicated business at the moment—that if invalidity care allowance is treated as income replacement, then the second wife's income, if it were invalid care allowance, would be only relevant and protected income. That would only serve to reduce the liability rather than increase it. In the words of some Members of the Committee that means that it would be beneficial in the way that it was applied.

If I am wrong in my interpretation of the pieces of paper in front of me and what the Bill says, I shall inform the noble Baroness.

Earl Russell: Does the Minister want to contribute anything further to the debate?

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: I think not.

Earl Russell: I am most grateful to the noble Baroness for calling my attention to Schedule 2 to the Bill. The effect of that will depend on the definition of disability, which in due course is to be prescribed. So it is quite hard to know what its contribution will be.

I am grateful to the Minister for the care he has taken. I need to read what he said with a good deal of care. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Lucas: I beg to move that the House do now resume.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

House resumed.

Bodmin Moor Commons Bill [H.L.]

Reported from the Select Committee with amendments, and recommitted to an Unopposed Bill Committee.

        House adjourned at twelve minutes past midnight.

19 Jun 1995 : Column 143

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