Welfare Reform: Lord Lawson, Thatcher's Former Chancellor, Says Government 'Got It Wrong' On Benefits
The government "got it wrong" on welfare reform, according to Margaret Thatcher's former chancellor.
Lord Lawson, who voted against a measure that force single parents to pay to use the Child Support Agency on Wednesday evening said:
"The government had clearly got it wrong. James Mackay [the Lord who led the revolt] is a man of great character who I worked with very closely when I was in government. He was Lord Chancellor and I was Chancellor of the Exchequer. He sought to put it right, and I supported him, as a number of others did and he won the amendment," he told BBC 2's The Daily Politics.
On Wednesday the government suffered their sixth defeat on the welfare bill in the House of Lords - this time led by veteran Tories. Grandees from the days of Thatcher voted against the charges, including Lord Howe, Lord Lawson and Lord Carrington.
Nick Clegg claimed on Thursday the Lords were doing "exactly what Parliament is there for."
He told journalists that ministers could make some changes to legislation "where they are justified": "There is no point having a two-chamber Parliament if it just sits there ticking boxes for government.. I don't think we will need to use the Parliament Act to get the Welfare Bill on the statute book."
But the department for work and pensions has said it will try and overturn the changes made to the bill.