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Points of Order

Volume 514: debated on Monday 19 July 2010

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. At close of business tonight we will pass the estimates—an awful lot of money—without a vote. Bundled into that are the IPSA estimates, which show that £6.6 million will be spent simply on IPSA administration compared with £2 million under the previous regime. In the future, will it be possible to separate out the IPSA estimate so that we can have, if necessary, a debate and a vote on it?

The short answer to the right hon. Gentleman is that it is not possible to devise some new procedure for the purpose that he described. Moreover, I am not sure that it is necessary. The right hon. Gentleman has just pithily explained his precise understanding of the size of the IPSA estimate as a feature of the total estimate. If he works on the basis that everybody else is as capable of interpreting these matters as he is—that is an if, I accept—he might be satisfied that there is a general level of understanding of these important matters.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. As regards the speed with which today’s business is being taken through the House, the Secretary of State for Education suggested on the radio this morning that comparison could be drawn between the Academies Bill, with its 16 clauses and two schedules, and legislation on the assisted places scheme to remove the subsidy to private education, which had three substantive clauses and two technical clauses and for which I was responsible in 1997. I know that you cannot protect Parliament from everything that the coalition does, Mr Speaker, but is not the comparison to be made between this Bill and the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, and will you protect us from the dangerous dogma of the coalition Government as they push this Bill through?

I am always keen and anxious to protect the House and I take considerable steps to do so. I have not made the comparison that the right hon. Gentleman suggests, but of course there would be no need for me to do so because he has just made that comparison extremely effectively. It is on the record, and I know that he will want to share it with the residents of Sheffield, Brightside.