Secondary Legislation

Part of Leader of the House – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 13 November 2008.

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Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Opposition Whip (Commons) 10:30, 13 November 2008

The Minister would, wouldn't he—as someone else famously said. While we all recognise the value of secondary legislation, particularly for Bills that introduce fines that have to be updated annually, or quotas and so on, there appears to be an ever-increasing use of Government amendments to Bills on Report or statutory instruments being used more and more to include information that could have been included in the primary legislation or in the Bill. As a result, in Committee, we often end up writing out a blank cheque, because so much is missing: statutory instrument content is not known, and we do not know what amendments the Government will table on Report to their own Bill. Yes, the Minister is right: on the whole SIs work well, but will he at least monitor their performance to ensure that they are not used as a blank cheque?