On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. In the time it took the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to pour himself a glass of water, the House authorised the Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) (No. 3) Bill, which, among other things, includes
“authorisation for the use of resources for the year ending with
“increased by £348,553,768,000.”
It goes on to authorise all the rest of the expenditure of similarly great magnitudes that the Government expect to use over the next couple of years, without any possibility of debate or amendment, which is not what Members from the Scottish National party were led to believe when the English votes for English laws process was introduced. We were told then that the estimates process would be how we would scrutinise the Barnett consequentials of estimates.
The Bill represents the supply element of the confidence and supply arrangement that one of the other parties in the House has with the Government—it is good to see that at least a couple of them are here, which is more than there were the last time the supply estimates went through the House. Will you advise me, Madam Deputy Speaker, as to whether any other mechanisms are available to groups of Members to secure £1.5 billion of funding for their constituencies without any of them really having to show up very often?
I thank the hon. Gentleman for his point of order and understand the point that he has made. I will separate his party political points, which of course are not a matter for the Chair, from his procedural points, which are partially a matter for the Chair.
I advise the hon. Gentleman that although he and his colleagues might not have had the opportunity to examine every line of proposed expenditure, we had two days of debate—yesterday and the day before—on some aspects of the matters in the Bill that the House has just passed. The hon. Gentleman makes his point well, and I fully understand his criticism of the procedure. It is not for me to agree or disagree with him, but I am quite sure that the Procedure Committee and others will take seriously the points that he has made.