Extent, commencement and short title

Part of Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:00 pm on 22nd January 2019.

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Photo of Barbara Keeley Barbara Keeley Shadow Minister (Mental Health and Social Care) 3:00 pm, 22nd January 2019

Government amendment 1 is, of course, entirely uncontroversial. We cannot implement a new system until the Government are authorised to pay for it. I have a question for the Minister, following our conversation about the financial impact of the Bill: in the light of the changes that have been made to the Bill in the past few months, will she give us an estimate of how much expenditure we are being asked to agree?

We will not oppose the amendment, but I feel that members of the Committee should have an idea of what they are agreeing. We definitely need to have the updated impact assessment as soon as possible and certainly before Report stage. It is not acceptable to have an impact assessment that is six months out of date. We want to know how much the new system will cost before the Bill concludes its passage through the House. Only if that happens, will we be confident of the amount of expenditure agreed to.

On clause 5 more generally, I am disappointed that the Minister has opposed all our amendments. In particular, I remain concerned about the code of practice, when it is finally produced. I counsel her against trying to rush it through the House, with little opportunity for Members to provide feedback. We have tried valiantly on this Bill Committee to bring up issues of great importance in the Bill, and they need to be listened to.

The Government have said that the new system will not come into force until the code of practice has been published, so there is no real reason not to agree to have the code of practice approved by each House before the Bill is enacted.