Clause 20 - Modifications of special parliamentary procedure in certain cases

Part of Growth and Infrastructure Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 4th December 2012.

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Photo of Roberta Blackman-Woods Roberta Blackman-Woods Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government) 10:45 am, 4th December 2012

I do not want to detain the Committee long on the clause, although, at four pages, it is rather long. As we know, it is about limiting the provisions that will be subject to parliamentary scrutiny and in what circumstances, and I have quite a straightforward question for the Minister. The clause is very dense, and the Government have paid a lot of attention to reducing the number of cases in which special parliamentary procedure will apply. However,  they have not paid attention to shortening the process, and in reducing the number of cases that can be dealt with under it, they have done nothing to guarantee that it is speeded up a bit. That is a bit extraordinary, because in the one case we all know of, it has taken an incredibly long time to get the Committee up and running and doing its job properly.

Given that the Bill is supposed to be a growth Bill, and is being presented as the Government’s flagship growth Bill, it is a little odd to give four pages of the Bill to a set of circumstances that do not apply to many cases, and not to consider speed as important. The Government are saying that we need growth now and that we need quickly to remove some of the impediments to it, so why not address the issue of speed in the clause?