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New Clause 19 — Power to remove or reduce burdens

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 3:45 pm on 15th May 2006.

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Photo of Edward Garnier Edward Garnier Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 3:45 pm, 15th May 2006

I listened carefully to the answer that the Minister gave to my right hon. and learned Friend Mr. Clarke on taxation. Clauses 5 and 6 offer us some comfort. However, it is quite clear that, under clause 6, the Minister is not prevented from adding to the criminal statute book offences that attract a penalty of up to two years. There are plenty of offences that the criminal courts deal with now that carry a maximum penalty of up to two years. Is he telling us that the word "burden" does not encompass new criminal offences that a Minister might dream up that do not attract a penalty of more than two years?