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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

It is clear—it has been made clear in new clause 19—that only Ministers and Departments will be affected in terms of their exercise of a regulatory function. In these scenarios, which have been rehearsed throughout the passage of the Bill, it may always be possible to predict this and to predict that. If we go down that road, we will end up with a Bill that will be a beautiful parliamentary instrument in that it closes up every possible avenue to which the hon. Gentleman and others may draw attention. At the same time, it would not be an effective weapon in reducing deregulation.

That scenario has not been dreamed up by me. It is what has happened on two occasions when the House has tried to legislate on these matters. I ask hon. Members who raise these matters, which they have every right to do, to bear it in mind that business is watching our proceedings. Businesses, charities and the voluntary sector want an outcome at the end of this proposed legislation that will work. We must beware of continuing to amend, close off and hamper legislation so that it becomes, as I have said, a beautiful parliamentary instrument but not a useful deregulatory instrument.

I shall draw my remarks to a close by saying that new clause 19—