Equality Bill [HL]

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 9th November 2005.

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Photo of Lord Tunnicliffe Lord Tunnicliffe Labour 3:45 pm, 9th November 2005

My Lords, I support the amendments and urge the House not to undervalue its own powers of scrutiny of secondary legislation. There is a Select Committee of the House—the Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee, established 18 months ago. It now has significant influence. We examine every statutory instrument and bring a small number of them to the attention of the House. Departments are properly fearful of bringing forward orders that have not had proper consultation and cannot satisfy all the assurances sought by your Lordships. A couple of us from the committee are here today, and we shall look out especially for those orders to ensure that the assurances given by the Government have been fully carried out. If not, the House has the power to vote the measure down. Do not underrate the power of secondary legislation. We should support it by expressing concerns and ensuring that there is full consultation. I have every faith that that will happen, and the House has the power to ensure that it does.