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Government: Legislative Programme for Scotland

Volume 715: debated on Thursday 19 November 2009


My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Scotland has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The legislative programme for the fifth Session was outlined on the 18 November. Eight of the 10 new Bills outlined in the Queen's Speech in this final Session of the current Parliament contain provisions that apply to Scotland; once again this is a programme that will significantly benefit people living in Scotland.

In this Session the Government will focus on supporting the economy as we move from recession to recovery and we will take forward measures to support people living and working in our communities.

This Statement provides a summary of the legislation announced in the Queen's Speech and its application to Scotland. This Statement includes both new Bills that will be introduced shortly, and those Bills that are carrying-over from the last Session. It does not include draft Bills. The Bills listed in section 1 are likely to contain provisions requiring the consent of the Scottish Parliament in line with the Sewel Convention. A brief description is provided of the provisions likely to require consent. Section 2 details Bills that are not likely to contain provisions that require the consent of the Scottish Parliament, by way of a Legislative Consent Motion (LCM).

The list also identifies the lead government department:

1. UK Legislation likely to contain provisions requiring the consent of the Scottish Parliament at introduction:

Discussions will continue between the Government and Scottish Ministers on Bills that might include provisions that trigger the Sewel Convention. The Bills identified within the Queen's Speech in this section are as follows:

Bribery (MoJ)—This Bill primarily relates to criminal law which is a devolved matter in Scotland. Following a consultation exercise in Scotland, Scottish Ministers have agreed that the best way to reform the law on bribery in Scotland is via an LCM extending full provisions of this Bill to Scotland.

Child Poverty Bill (HMT) (introduced in the fourth Session)—This Bill enshrines in law the Government's commitment to end child poverty by 2020. Four indicators of child poverty are identified by this Bill. An LCM is required in order to extend the commitment to those matters that are within the competence of the Scottish Parliament. Constitutional Reform and Governance (MoJ) (introduced in the fourth Session): The majority of the provisions in the Bill extend to Scotland and Bill aims to rebuild trust in our democratic and constitutional settlement by reinforcing the principles of transparency, accountability and probity across government. An LCM is required for provisions concerning requirements placed upon the Scottish Ministers in relation to the Civil Service and special advisors. An LCM is also required for the amendments concerning time-limits for human rights claims under the Human Rights and Devolution Acts.

Crime and Security (Home Office)—The majority of this Bill will not apply to Scotland, however provisions that give Scottish Ministers new powers to regulate the private security industry will require a LCM.

Energy Bill (DECC)—This Bill will commit the Government to developing the use of clean coal and help vulnerable households with their energy Bills. It will require an LCM for the provisions that relate to funding for up to four commercial-scale carbon capture and storage demonstration projects.

Equality Bill (GEO) (introduced in fourth Session)—Equal opportunities is a reserved matter. This Bill requires an LCM as it will amend the Scottish Ministers’ functions by allowing them to impose specific public sector duties on the Scottish public bodies for the three new strands.

Financial Services Bill (HMT)—The Bill will strengthen governance of the financial sector, control the system of rewards and ensure savers and lenders are fully protected. An LCM will be required for provisions relating to consumer education.

Flood and Water Management (Defra)—The Bill generally applies to England and Wales only but an LCM will be required for provisions relating to cross-border reservoir safety.

2. UK Legislation unlikely to contain provisions requiring the consent of the Scottish Parliament at introduction:

Discussions will continue between the Government and Scottish Ministers to ensure that, if provisions relating to matters which trigger the Sewel Convention are included in any of these Bills during their passage at Westminster, the consent of the Scottish Parliament will be sought for them in line with the Sewel Convention:

Personal Care at Home Bill (DoH);

Children, Schools and Families Bill (DCSF);

Fiscal Responsibility (HMT);

Digital Economy (DCMS); and

Cluster Munitions (FCO).