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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 4:15 pm on 15th May 2006.

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Photo of Pat McFadden Pat McFadden Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office) 4:15 pm, 15th May 2006

The hon. Gentleman anticipates the next part of my contribution. If he bears with me, I hope to provide him with reassurance.

New clause 19 has been drafted to prevent the inappropriate removal of orders that fall only on Ministers or Government Departments. In earlier proceedings, the fear was expressed that the order-making power could be used by Ministers suddenly to stop providing public services. The new clause provides that burdens falling only on Ministers or Government Departments can be removed, but only in so far as they are burdens that affect the Minister or Department in the exercise of a regulatory function. We believe this answers the fears expressed on those core public service points, although we did not believe that those fears would ever be realised through the operation of the Act. The new clause ensures that it will not be possible to make an order that stops the provision of public services because they may be considered a burden on Government.