Clause 31

Budget Responsibility and National Audit Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 3 March 2011.

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Photo of Justine Greening Justine Greening The Economic Secretary to the Treasury 2:30, 3 March 2011

I beg to move amendment 1, in clause 31, page 10, line 13, leave out subsection (2).

Having debated the Bill, we no longer need the original section of the Finance Act. The Committee will be aware that much of the original legislation that established the code for fiscal stability, for example, was set out in an earlier Finance Act. Because the Bill overrides and renews what was in the code by setting up not only the Office for Budget Responsibility but the charter, we can now effectively rescind that previous legislation.

Regarding amendment 1, when a Bill starts its passage in the House of Lords a privilege amendment is inserted by the Lords at its final printing. By claiming that nothing in the Lords’ Bills imposes a charge on the public funds or on the people, the amendment preserves the financial privilege of the Commons to authorise such charges. Once a money resolution has been passed by the Commons to authorise a charge on public funds, which for this Bill took place after Second Reading in the Commons, the privilege amendment is routinely removed by the Commons at the first opportunity, having served its purpose, in other words when the Bill is in Committee.

Amendment 1 agreed to.

Clause 31, as amended, accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Ordered,

That certain written evidence already reported to the House be appended to the proceedings of the Committee.—(Justine Greening.)

Bill, as amended, to be reported.

Committee rose.