New Clause 2 — Childcare

Part of Welfare Reform Bill (Programme) (No. 2) – in the House of Commons at 5:00 pm on 13th June 2011.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions 5:00 pm, 13th June 2011

I should like to start by making the same point that I made in Committee. I have listened to Stephen Timms setting out a vast range of measures and details that he wants us to write into the Bill. He is conveniently forgetting the first fundamental element of a Bill, and the lesson that he taught me 10 years ago, when I was first elected to the House, about the nature of primary legislation. I remember, as a new Member of Parliament, debating an education Bill in Committee and asking why there was not more detail in the Bill. I proposed amendments to provide certain details. I remember the right hon. Gentleman, as a Minister, arguing why that should not happen. He explained that it was a piece of enabling legislation to create a framework for the changes that his Government were seeking to put in place, and that my amendments were all unnecessary. Today the roles are reversed, and the right hon. Gentleman has conveniently forgotten everything that he, as a Minister, taught me all those years ago. Instead, he is telling me that I should put all kinds of new details into the Bill that I have introduced. I am sure that hon. Members will therefore forgive me if I take some of his proposals with a pinch of salt.