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Superannuation Bill

Part of Freedom of Information (Amendment) – in the House of Commons at 7:47 pm on 7th September 2010.

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Photo of Cathy Jamieson Cathy Jamieson Labour, Kilmarnock and Loudoun 7:47 pm, 7th September 2010

I am grateful for my hon. Friend's complimentary remarks. In fact, I am a former Justice Minister. Far be it from me as a former Minister to suggest that people should be suspicious about very short pieces of primary legislation that give greater powers to secondary legislation that can then be picked up and laid without proper parliamentary scrutiny. Having had to work on legislation in another Parliament, I recognise that the concerns expressed by hon. Members are well made in this case.

The Bill puts the Speaker in a difficult and unfair position, because he has to decide whether it should be certified as a money Bill when in fact it is about industrial relations and people should be redoubling their efforts to put the previous deal back on the table and to ensure that all the trade unions are involved in the negotiation. Parliamentary procedures should not be abused in this way.

Given that brevity is required, I shall not seek to rehearse points that other hon. Members have made. However, when we are talking about the low-paid and given all the warm words that we heard earlier about the desire to protect the lowest grades in the civil service, I do not think it is good enough that Ministers cannot identify what "low paid" means in those terms and how many people will be affected. It is incumbent on the Minister who winds up the debate to give us more information on that point.

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