Banking Bill — Committee (4th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:15 pm on 20th January 2009.

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Photo of Baroness Noakes Baroness Noakes Shadow Minister, Treasury 5:15 pm, 20th January 2009

Of course, procedure is extremely important and my noble friend was right to ask the Minister when the Delegated Powers Committee may expect a reply from the Government. However, I am much more concerned about the substance.

It is customary for the Government to take very seriously the recommendations of the Delegated Powers Committee and rare for the Government to reject them. They did so last June, during the passage of the Banking (Special Provisions) Bill, in relation to the nationalisation order, if I may use that shorthand, and whether the affirmative procedure should be used. Sound reasons were accepted at the time relating to timing, but this is of a different order.

This matter does not require urgency; it is something where the Treasury is just saying, "We don't think we want to ask for power in advance and go through that affirmative procedure, which we find really rather boring. We'd like to just ram it through and hope that no one prays against it in the time available". There was no substantive reason for the Government not to accept the recommendation of the Delegated Powers Committee, other than they did not want to do so. That is a very unfortunate position for them to take in Committee and we will have to think about it very carefully before Report. The House will not be pleased to find the Government again setting themselves against the findings of the Delegated Powers Committee, which generally commands the support of the whole House, as its members are very experienced in issues relating to delegated powers taken in Bills. I do not believe that the Government have advanced any substantive argument for not following the recommendation, other than preference. I do not think that that will wash with the Delegated Powers Committee and it will not wash with these Benches either.

I will not press the amendment today. I believe that we are expecting more from the Delegated Powers Committee fairly soon, and that will be even more interesting for the Committee to deal with. Today, I beg leave to withdraw my amendment but I should not like the Minister to think that this issue will go away.

Amendment 119 withdrawn.

Amendment 120 not moved.

Clause 74 agreed.

Clause 75: Power to change law

Amendment 121

Moved by Lord Howard of Rising

121: Clause 75, page 38, line 17, leave out "having regard to" and insert "in order to achieve one or more of"