§ 14. Mr. Dormand
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has yet made an assessment of the resource implications of the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Bill; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Newton
The local authority associations were consulted on the likely cost of the Bill, if amended on the lines of the Government consultation paper issued in February. They estimated that cost as being in excess of £100 million in a full year. The associations and others are now being further consulted on the cost implications of the Bill in the form in which it received its Third Reading.
§ Mr. Dormand
Is the Minister aware that his answer confirms the suspicions felt by me and by many of my hon. Friends that the Government do not intend to honour their commitments on this measure, which received massive support when it was introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Monklands, West (Mr. Clarke)?. Are not the Government being a bit hypocritical in giving it an ostensibly warm welcome some two weeks ago, and in now saying that they cannot provide the resources for it?
§ Mr. Newton
There is no basis whatever for the hon. Gentleman's allegation. The Government, in completely good faith, have made it clear throughout that there were resource implications and that those implications would have to be considered in determining the date of the commencement orders.