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Daylight Saving

Business, Innovation and Skills – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 13th January 2011.

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Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Labour, Exeter 10:30 am, 13th January 2011

What assessment he has made of the likely effects on businesses of introducing daylight saving time.

Photo of Edward Davey Edward Davey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

I am aware of a range of arguments regarding the effect of introducing daylight saving time on business and other areas of activity. There has been no recent Government assessment of the merits of those arguments. However, as the right hon. Gentleman will recall, in our recent debate on the private Member's Bill on this issue, I made it clear that Government are willing to publish a review of the available evidence of a move to central European time. That would, of course, include evidence of the effects on business.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Labour, Exeter

We know that this Government are having trouble reaching agreement on a lot of things, but on this issue, where there is overwhelming support from business and other organisations, cross-party support in the House for the private Member's Bill that the House debated before Christmas, and strong support and promises made by both the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister before the election, why is the Minister not moving more quickly?

Photo of Edward Davey Edward Davey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

This coalition Government of two parties can make more decisions more quickly than the previous Government, of one party, did, and I am surprised that the right hon. Gentleman disagrees with the Prime Minister's statement on this issue, in which he said that there should be consensus across the nations of the United Kingdom. That is a sensible approach to take, and we will follow it.

Photo of Duncan Hames Duncan Hames Liberal Democrat, Chippenham

I welcome the decision of the House to allow the Daylight Saving Bill to proceed into Committee. Has the Minister considered the possibility of changing the time in the year when the clocks change, so that British summer time can last longer, while still affording the benefits, which some people cite, that occur at times of the year when daylight hours are shortest?

Photo of Edward Davey Edward Davey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

I am looking forward to meeting Rebecca Harris on 20 January to discuss her Bill and how she wants to take it forward, and I am sure that that is one of the issues that she will want debated.