Retrospective versus New Cases - DEBATE

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John Ward

Mar 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/27/98

In my post "A chance to debate the future" I suggested that this newsgroup
should debate some of the topics that Harriet Harman and others were
considering as part of CSA reform.

This current post provides the chance of debating "Retrospective versus New
Cases" - see below.


(Replies to questions to the Secretary of State for Social Security, from
Hansard, 23
Mar 1998). The Secretary of State for Social Security and Minister for
Women (Ms Harriet Harman):

Mr. Rendel: Does the Secretary of State expect any new formula to apply
only to new cases, or will it apply also to cases that have already been
agreed under CSA regulations--which would lead to difficulties such as
cases being reopened and redecided and a lot of losers?

Ms Harman: The hon. Gentleman makes an important point. We are trying to
reform a system, but it is difficult to do so when we have a great tangle
and a sense--and the reality--of injustice. For people who have had
incorrect awards made and those who have had correct awards made but who
have failed to pay, the issue of transitional arrangements will be critical
in achieving public confidence in the new and reformed system that we
should like to see evolve.


Eventually it has to apply to all cases, not just new ones.

However, I recognise that, just like 1993, this may cause problems with
people who had managed to adjust to the existing system.

There may have to be agreed departures for a time - with a target that the
people concerned have to adjust their finances within (say) 3 years.


John Ward

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