The new Parliament session will officially begin, tomorrow, with the Queen’s Speech outlining the Government’s programme. The dates and deadlines for oral questions, in the chamber, will be announced this week and it’s been stated that Department of Work and Pensions question time is not due to answer before the Summer recess. This means MPs will not have the opportunity to question Minister’s in the Chamber until September, at the earliest.
The Department of Work and Pensions portfolio has responsibility, amongst other things, as to whether Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) will receive the pensions they deserve, also whether Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments will be conducted locally. Alongside this, I have previously raised the issue of jobcentre closures and the introduction of a universal basic income with welfare ministers.
I find it very disappointing to learn that Government ministers from the Department of Work and Pensions won’t be quizzed by MPs, on the House floor, until after the summer recess.
The public had to endure a period of over 5 weeks without having a Member of Parliament to represent them. Now my office is back in place and taking on constituent casework, much of which has to do with benefit entitlement, welfare assessments and pensions. Yet, I won’t be able to quiz the Minister on these subject till September at the earliest.
What was required is moving the time to accommodate Members and the Minister but these are extraordinary times and Westminster has to move with them.
This Government has brought about instability, with calling an early general election and a lack of clear direction. The news that MPs won’t be able to quiz welfare Ministers is another example of the shambles at the heart of this Government.