Clause 106 - Interpretation, commencement, short title, and extent

Water Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:00 pm on 21 October 2003.

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Amendment proposed: No. 264, in

clause 106, page 132, line 3, at end insert—

'( ) section 87(3).'.—[Mr. Morley.]

Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley Minister of State (Environment and Agri-Environment), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

It is not our policy intention to seek to extend to Scotland the environmental powers that clause 87, and schedules 5 and 6, will provide to the Coal Authority. Only by introducing this amendment, which is purely technical, can we ensure that the authority's founding legislation—the Coal Industry Act 1994—will successfully limit the extent of the powers to England and Wales only.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment proposed: No. 171, in

clause 106, page 132, line 6, leave out subsection (8).—[Mr. Morley.]

Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Subsection (8) states:

''Nothing in this Act shall impose any charge on the people or on public funds, or vary the amount or incidence of or otherwise alter any such charge in any manner, or affect the assessment, levying, administration or application of any money raised by any such charge.''

What exactly is the Minister up to in removing that?

Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley Minister of State (Environment and Agri-Environment), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Nothing sinister is the answer to that. The amendment covers an interesting point that I learned only in preparing for the Bill. The Bill started in the other place, and there are restrictions on what the House of Lords can do on the levying of taxes and charges. When the Bill was originally drafted, that clause was consistent with the powers of the Houses of Lords and Commons. Now that the Bill is in the House of Commons and being scrutinised in Committee, we have the power to add measures of charges and aspects relating to financial matters. This is a procedural amendment to remove what is known as a privilege amendment—the privilege being ours—which is added by the Lords to every Bill originating there. That is an interesting procedural lesson that I learned only recently.

Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

It certainly is.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 106, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.