Amendment 36B

Part of Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill - Committee (2nd Day) (Continued) – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 23 March 2023.

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Photo of Lord Collins of Highbury Lord Collins of Highbury Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Equalities and Women's Issues), Shadow Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and International Development), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 5:30, 23 March 2023

This is going to be relatively easy to deal with, because the Minister has already given us an answer on the previous group. Actually, the answer he gave us is the reason I have separated out this amendment—I think it reflects something else that committees of this House have been extremely concerned about, certainly in the two reports that my noble friend Lord Hendy referred to earlier. When our Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee reports, it reports in a timely way that ensures that when Parliament and this House consider legislative proposals, we are informed. That information is also governed by the Government’s response.

The Bill has gone through the Commons stages with very little scrutiny and lands up here. We have three detailed reports on this piece of legislation, all of them fairly critical, as in paragraph 23 of the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee report. There is only one example of what a minimum service level might contain, which is the service in the transport sector, so everything else has been completely ignored. There are no examples; there is nothing we can assess to see how these powers we are being asked to give to Ministers may be used. The Delegated Powers Committee’s response is that if they do not tell us, we should not give them the power. When are the Government going to properly respond? I insist that they respond as quickly as possible, well before any sort of timetabling for Report. It is fundamental to our democracy that the Government respond to the requirements of Parliament. It is outrageous that they have not done so already. I beg to move.