Estimates, Vote on Account 2020-21

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:30 pm on 2 March 2020.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady SNP Chief Whip 9:30, 2 March 2020

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I am sorry that I did not have a chance to give you forewarning; I did speak to the Chairman of Ways and Means.

We have just passed the estimates—up to motion 10 on the Order Paper—which represent the approval of several billion pounds of public expenditure. I wonder how we can get on the record, Mr Speaker, our disappointment that the motions were not subject to any kind of debate. I recognise that in some respects it is nobody’s fault—the Backbench Business Committee and the Liaison Committee were not appointed in time to allow topics to be decided for the debates—but the effect is that there has been absolutely no scrutiny of the estimates whatsoever.

When the English votes for English laws procedures were introduced, we on the SNP Benches were told that our opportunity for scrutiny of spending that had consequentials as a result of EVEL legislation would be in the estimates process. Through you, Mr Speaker, may we communicate to the new Chair and the new Procedure Committee, who are about to be appointed, that they might want to make this a matter of priority in their ongoing inquiries?