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Clause 45 - Regulations and orders

Part of Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:00 pm on 11th July 2013.

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Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions 4:00 pm, 11th July 2013

When we get to what are marked as “final and other provisions”, it is normally assumed that they are the inconsequential bits at the end of the Bill, but clause 45 is important. As Opposition Members have pointed out, quite a lot of the detail in some parts of the Bill remains to be filled in. The clause specifies which statutory instruments will be subject to the affirmative procedure and which to the negative procedure. I will say a word or two about those that we believe should be subject to the affirmative procedure.

Regulations under clause 3 will deal with the single-tier start rate, which is pretty important. The uprating thereafter will be the statutory minimum, but the start rate is not set out in the Bill, so we think that an affirmative procedure debate is appropriate. Regulations under clause 18(5) will amend the minimum qualification requirement for a deferral payment as specified in clause 17(2). They will amend primary legislation, which is why we have  chosen the affirmative procedure. Regulations under clause 27 for bereavement support payment will be subject to the affirmative procedure because we entirely acknowledge that a good deal of detail has been left to regulations, so we think it only right that the House should have a proper debate on that without having to seek one.

The first set of regulations made under clause 10, which deals with the inheritance of graduated retirement pension under single tier, will be subject to the affirmative procedure. Although they apply primary legislation, we regard them as very technical so we think that further debate on minor tweaks should not be necessary. Similarly, with regulations under clause 20, on overseas pensions under single tier, the issue is important but minor subsequent exercise of the power—[Interruption.] I hope that that is news of a wicket falling. [Hon. Members: “No!”] Actually, I do not hope that. I had forgotten that England are batting.