Sunset Clauses

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 4th February 2004.

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Photo of Mr David Stewart Mr David Stewart Labour, Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on his policy on the use of sunset clauses in legislation; and which Acts containing such clauses relevant to his Department were passed in each year since 1997.

Photo of Malcolm Wicks Malcolm Wicks Minister for pensions, Department for Work and Pensions

The Department for Work and Pensions actively promotes the better regulation agenda and the use of sunsetting where appropriate.

The Regulatory Impact Assessment guidance 'Better Policy Making: A Guide to Regulatory Impact Assessment' advises policy officials to consider time limiting or sunsetting at an early stage of policy development, and gives specific circumstances where sunsetting maybe appropriate.

No Acts for which DWP is responsible containing a sunset clause have been passed since the Department was formed in June 2001.

For most of the Department's business, sunsetting would not be appropriate. For example where primary legislation establishing a benefit or other scheme is drafted on the basis that it will last indefinitely and the details will be set out in secondary legislation, it would normally be inconsistent to time limit this.

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