Urmee Khan looks at recent exchanges on Iraq in Parliament
Labour MP Harry Cohen has tabled a written question asking the Government the following: (1) has the Department undertaken research to assess whether cash payments to the poor and unemployed rise at a similar level as prices for food, in circumstances where cash payments have replaced food rationing; (a) what assessment he has made of whether this will happen in Iraq; (b) and if he will make a statement
Hilary Benn answered as follows: DFID has not undertaken research specifically into the issue referred to in the question. DFID is at present researching best practice towards social welfare protection measures generally in developing countries, and aims to produce a policy paper in October 2005.
In Iraq, DFID is providing technical assistance to help prepare for future decisions by the Iraqi Government on the reform of the public distribution system for food. Our aim is to enable the Iraqi Government to establish a welfare system targeted at the poor and unemployed, which ensures that families in need are properly supported while removing the economic distortions and inefficiency created by the present system. The actual levels of cash welfare payments at any time will be for the Iraqi Government to decide in view of prevailing circumstances.
This exchange appears in Hansard for 10 Febuary 20