I seek members' approval for amendment 12, which will update section 1(2). The Enterprise and Culture Committee and the Subordinate Legislation Committee agreed that the period of time for which a sequestration should last should be changed only in the primary legislation. At stage 2, amendment 90 removed the reference to the affirmative procedure for changing the discharge period. Amendment 12 will remove the power itself.
I move amendment 12.
As the minister said, amendment 12 will remove the ministerial power to vary the bankruptcy period, which the bill will reduce from three years to one year. It would be unusual for Conservative members to oppose measures to restrict ministerial powers, but we make an exception in this case.
The central policy intent behind the bankruptcy part of the bill is to reduce the bankruptcy period from three years to one year, but the case for doing so has not yet been proven. The Enterprise and Culture Committee received no convincing
I do not know whether one year is the correct bankruptcy period, but it might be useful to have available to ministers a subordinate legislation power to increase the period from one year to two years, three years or whatever, in the light of experience, without members having to come back to the chamber to pass primary legislation.
We oppose amendment 12.
I reaffirm that my proposal has the support of the Enterprise and Culture Committee and the Subordinate Legislation Committee and that we have agreed that the proposed process is the proper one by which the Parliament should return to matters in future if there is a requirement to do so. I argue that such a requirement will not arise in any event.
Division number 1
For: Adam, Brian, Alexander, Ms Wendy, Arbuckle, Mr Andrew, Baillie, Jackie, Baird, Shiona, Baker, Richard, Ballance, Chris, Ballard, Mark, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Crawford, Bruce, Curran, Ms Margaret, Eadie, Helen, Finnie, Ross, Gibson, Rob, Glen, Marlyn, Gorrie, Donald, Grahame, Christine, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, John, Hughes, Janis, Hyslop, Fiona, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lochhead, Richard, Lyon, George, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, Marwick, Tricia, Mather, Jim, Matheson, Michael, Maxwell, Mr Stewart, May, Christine, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McMahon, Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Morgan, Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peattie, Cathy, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Jeremy, Radcliffe, Nora, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mike, Ruskell, Mr Mark, Scott, Eleanor, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Margaret, Stevenson, Stewart, Stone, Mr Jamie, Swinburne, John, Swinney, Mr John, Wallace, Mr Jim, Wilson, Allan
Against: Aitken, Bill, Brocklebank, Mr Ted, Brownlee, Derek, Davidson, Mr David, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Fergusson, Alex, Fraser, Murdo, Johnstone, Alex, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, Milne, Mrs Nanette, Petrie, Dave, Scott, John