Commencement

Part of Health and Social Care (National Data Guardian) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 6th June 2018.

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Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch 10:00 am, 6th June 2018

It may well be a standard clause, but such clauses are often abused by the Government. For example, Parliament passed a measure to outlaw exit payments for public sector workers in the Enterprise Act 2016. We are still waiting for the regulations under that primary legislation to be introduced. The Government now say that they will have to consult on them. Effectively, what Parliament thought was happening—the limiting of public sector exit payments—has not happened.

The Bill is supported across the House, as the measure I have mentioned was. I should be grateful for some indication from the Minister of when the Government will implement it. It could be delayed by the Government by means of the regulation-making powers in the clause; or by the Government’s not appointing the Data Guardian. There are other ways in which it could be delayed, and if we take the past as a guide to the future we should be suspicious of the Government when they are not prepared to include in the Bill a commitment for it to commence on a given date.