Clause 6 - Short title, commencement and extent

Part of Rating (Agricultural Premises and Rural Shops) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:30 pm on 8th May 2001.

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Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions) 12:30 pm, 8th May 2001

Amendment No. 8 would remove the power of the Secretary of State to determine when the Bill will commence, either wholly or in part, in relation to England. It does not alter the powers of the National Assembly for Wales to commence the provisions of the Bill in Wales on any day or days that it chooses. Amendment No. 9 would remove the power of the Secretary of State and the National Assembly for Wales to have separate commencement dates for different clauses of the Bill, although both would retain the discretion on when to commence the entire Bill.

The amendments are unnecessary. To those who fear that the Bill will be delayed, I can say that we intend to implement it as soon as practicable. In England, that may be before 30 October. Not only do the amendments curtail the discretion of the Secretary of State and of the National Assembly as to the best time for the commencement of the provisions but they might delay commencement in England.

The hon. Member for Ashford suggested that the Bill should not come into effect before a particular date. We shall reflect on that. However, I believe that the amendments are unnecessary, as we should still have discretion. I am not sure whether he was right about introducing the measures too soon. We shall consider the matter and let him know. On the understanding that we shall introduce the measures as soon as practicable, I ask the hon. Gentleman to withdraw the amendment.