Report (2nd Day)

Part of Energy Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 8th March 2011.

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Photo of Lord Lea of Crondall Lord Lea of Crondall Labour 7:15 pm, 8th March 2011

On that point we can both read tomorrow's Hansard to check who used which argument. Certainly, the noble Lord, Lord Deben, and, I think, the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, deployed the argument-no doubt one of them will put their hand up and say whether it was them-that this is an expensive statistics-gathering exercise. I do not think that we are talking about gathering more statistics, which are very expensive to produce. We are talking about £60 billion or £80 billion. What a ridiculous argument.

I hope that Ministers will think about this proposal before the Bill goes to the Commons and that our Opposition colleagues in the other place will want to take it forward. We are moving into a dangerous area of potential misunderstanding. We have a huge spike in the world oil price and on top of that an alternative between a carbon floor and a carbon tax-not exactly the same thing-both of which will be regressive.

I am sorry that the noble Lord, Lord Oxburgh, is no longer in place because he made a sweeping statement of socioeconomic doctrine that we should achieve all this through original income distribution and not try to help people with their home heating Bills. I do not know what responsibilities he has had in the world of meeting actual citizens-he is a very distinguished scientist-but we have to look at the wider public interest and the acceptability of peaceful governance of this country. I think that there is something like that in one of the prayers that the right reverend Prelates read from time to time. Something along those lines at least is in the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England. That argument is a total red herring at this stage. It has been put down as an amendment just like the amendments of the noble Lord, Lord Jenkin. We will have to consider what to say at Third Reading.

Things are changing fast. In another astonishing aside, the Minister said words to the effect that we are rushing things. For a coalition, which has an agreement to change the world, the constitution, the Parliament, the way in which we elect people, this dog's breakfast of the Public Bodies Bill, and a long list of other things coming forward, such as the health services Bill, to say that we cannot take these measures in this sort of timescale is not a very telling argument.

In my opening remarks, I made the point that this is not a partisan amendment at all. I am very sorry that the Minister felt that he had to say that this mess, or words like that, has been inherited from the Labour Government. That is ridiculous. Things are happening all the time. We have the world oil shock and the new EU framework, which I understand is about transparency and subsidies as regards renewable energy. All these things are happening and we are trying to get ahead of the curve. All that I can say to noble Lords is "Mark my words". For the moment, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 169 withdrawn.

Clause 103 : Extent

Amendments 170 to 173

Moved by Lord Marland

170: Clause 103, page 77, line 18, leave out "sections 9 and 11(2) to (4) and (8)" and insert "section 9"

171: Clause 103, page 77, line 21, at end insert-

"( ) section (Acknowledgment of green deal plan in connection with other transactions etc)(3) (further provision made in regulations for acknowledgment of such a plan);"

172: Clause 103, page 77, line 28, leave out "sections 10 and 11(5) to (7) and (9)" and insert "section 10"

173: Clause 103, page 77, line 31, at end insert-

"( ) section (Acknowledgment of green deal plan in connection with other transactions etc)(4) (further provision made in regulations for acknowledgment of such a plan);"

Amendments 170 to 173 agreed.

Clause 104 : Commencement

Amendments 174 to 180

Moved by Lord Marland

174: Clause 104, page 78, line 7, leave out "sections 10 and 11(5) to (7) and (9)" and insert "section 10"

175: Clause 104, page 78, line 10, at end insert-

"( ) section (Acknowledgment of green deal plan in connection with other transactions etc)(4) (further provision made in regulations for acknowledgment of such a plan);"

176: Clause 104, page 78, line 22, leave out "88" and insert "(Amendment of section 166 of the Energy Act 2004)"

177: Clause 104, page 78, line 35, leave out ", 8(1) and (5)(a)"

178: Clause 104, page 78, line 35, after "11" insert ", 12(1), (2)(a), (3)(a) and (4)"

179: Clause 104, page 78, line 38, leave out "(except sub-paragraphs (1) and (5)(a) of that paragraph)"

180: Clause 104, page 78, line 39, after "12" insert "(2)(b), (3)(b) and (5)"

Amendments 174 to 180 agreed.