Clause 24 — Universal credit: costs of claimants who rent accommodation

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:45 pm on 30th June 2015.

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Photo of Eilidh Whiteford Eilidh Whiteford Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Social Justice and Welfare) 2:45 pm, 30th June 2015

That is an astute point. It shows that if we get ourselves into a muddle with the legislation and it is just a kirn, we are storing up trouble down the line. The legislation has to be future-proof as well as present-proof. We must prepare for every eventuality.

We can dance around the semantics of the current wording of the Bill all afternoon, but if Scottish Ministers have to obtain the agreement from UK Ministers on when their measures are to take effect, that is, in effect, handing the UK the ability to block or delay the implementation of policy, frustrating the legitimate democratic process and contravening both the letter and the spirit of the Smith agreement. If the Government have to go to court to enforce these measures, it should be obvious that they are less than adequate. If the Secretary of State still maintains there is no veto, I challenge him to accept amendments 118 and 119, which make that explicit and beyond all doubt.