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Deposit by Candidates at Parliamentary Elections

Part of Orders of the Day — Representation of the People Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 14th February 1985.

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Photo of Douglas Hogg Douglas Hogg , Grantham 4:45 pm, 14th February 1985

The Conservative party does not stab its members in the back. The hon. Gentleman is confusing the two sides of the Committee.

I am making a serious point. It is unlikely that we shall see primary legislation dealing with this issue in, say, the next 10 or 20 years. Yet, however good the Government's economic policy may be, I shall be surprised if we see no inflation in that period. In the course of time the value of the deposit will decrease substantially in real terms and we shall be facing the same kind of problem as we are facing now, with a deposit of no value. That being so, I should like Parliament to have the power to increase the deposit without recourse to primary legislation.

I am as aware as any hon. Member of the defects of orders. I recognise that they are unamendable and that, with the Government's majority today, it is difficult to defeat them. Therefore, there are criticisms to be made of making important changes by way of orders. But I hope that the Committee has sufficient confidence in the affirmative resolution procedure to give the Government the power that I have in mind. If we do not do something along those lines, we shall again have meaningless deposits in, say, 15 years' time.