Clause 154

Health and Social Care Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 24th January 2008.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Stephen O'Brien Stephen O'Brien Shadow Minister (Health)

Just in case anyone was getting excited about us galloping away, and if my hon. Friend the Member for Guildford thought she was being pedantic, well here we go. The important point to note is that the clause deals with repeals which are listed in schedule 15. Some 15 Acts passed by the Government over the last nine years will be repealed or amended. They include the Health Act 1999, the Care Standards Act 2000, the Health and Social Care Act 2001, the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002, the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003, the National Health Service Act 2006, the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006 and the Health Act 2006. So it is clear that the vast majority of those 15 Acts are from this Department’s watch.

Parliament is the place to both propose and pass laws, but it is always helpful if Governments can get it right first time. Most importantly there is a big question about the almost iterative method by which we are making law in this area. Our parliamentary predecessors recognised that ground-breaking law needed a lot of consideration. Of course that was in the days when Bills were not programmed, so they would get full and detailed consideration. I have never been in favour of the new hours of this House and I think we should work through the night when we need to. That would give us plenty of time to discuss everything in detail. This is a good example of where truncated parliamentary scrutiny and iterative law making have ended up with a rather shabby list of Acts that have to be repealed. I am sorry to see that, but it is worth placing on the record because it is a reflection of where we have got to in the legislative procedures, which the House has decided, in its wisdom, to sanction.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 154 ordered to stand part of the Bill.