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Point of Order

Volume 555: debated on Thursday 20 December 2012

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I am sorry that I will be a little unseasonal in my point of order, but it is in response to the Government.

Last night, at around 5 o’clock, an amendment was tabled to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill in the other place with the purpose of abolishing the Agricultural Wages Board in England and Wales. The results of a consultation, which were only put on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website yesterday evening, show that the majority of people oppose the abolition of the AWB, and it is also against the express wishes of the Welsh Government, who have said that they do not want it abolished. The abolition would affect thousands of agricultural workers and, on the Government’s own figures, would take more than £240 million out of the rural economy. Have you had any request from Ministers to make a statement to Members in this House?

I have received no such request. I am sorry if the otherwise jovial spirits of the hon. Gentleman in the approach to Christmas have been undermined or disturbed, but from the vantage point of the Chair nothing disorderly has occurred. I have a sense that this is a matter to which the House will return in due course. If there are no further points of order, we will move on.

bill presented

Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Mr Secretary Duncan Smith, supported by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, Danny Alexander, Mr Oliver Letwin, Steve Webb, Michael Fallon and Sajid Javid, presented a Bill to make provision relating to the up-rating of certain social security benefits and tax credits.

Bill read the First Time; to be read a Second time Monday 7 January 2013, and to be printed (Bill 116) with explanatory notes (Bill 116-EN).