Schedule 5 — Repeals

Part of Rental Accommodation (Thermal Insulation Standards) – in the House of Commons at 9:52 pm on 23rd February 2010.

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Photo of David Laws David Laws Shadow Secretary of State (Children, Schools and Families) 9:52 pm, 23rd February 2010

His new friend, yes.

In spite of these small bright points in the Bill, we will also be voting against it this evening with some relish. There is a tremendous amount to vote against with relish. The longer I sat in Committee and the more I looked at the faces of some Labour Members who, Ministers will be pleased to see, are not here today, the more convinced I was that this is a Bill that the House should reject.

The House should reject the Bill for two main reasons. First, it is a typical Brown-Balls Bill, if I may say so. It is bureaucratic, centralising and based on the view that the man in the Ministry-the man in Westminster and Whitehall-knows best. It is typical of this Government that the only single, tiny element of the Bill that was deregulatory, and which the Secretary of State championed as deregulatory on Second Reading, is the one bit of the Bill that they have dumped-clause 42, which was referred to a moment ago. It was the only thing that would have reduced regulatory burdens.

Instead, we have got the guarantees and the poor ombudsman who is going to have to police these things. We have also had the bizarre parental satisfaction surveys. I hope that the Secretary of State has read the transcript of the debate and that he knows how ludicrous the Government's position is on these things and how uninterested parents seem to be in the trivial consultation that the Government are entering into.

Then we had the terrifically illiberal proposals on home education. The more we have seen of the Government's proposals, the more we recognise why home educators feel genuinely threatened by the proposals, which will turn what is currently a right to home educate into something that citizens will have to apply for by filling in paperwork to spell out and account for their educational philosophy.

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