1: Page 1, line 22, at end insert-
“(c) not be made before 1 April 2011”
The Commons disagree to Lords Amendment No. 1, for the following Reason-
1A: Because it would alter the financial arrangements made by the Commons, and the Commons do not offer any further Reason, trusting that this Reason may be deemed sufficient.
My Lords, with the leave of the House, I will also address Motions B and C. The Government have listened to local government and to the concerns expressed here and in another place. By accepting Lords Amendment 2, the Government recognise that a new Parliament may wish to confirm the arrangements for implementing this important first step towards a future national care service. Local authorities will still have the time that they have told us they need to implement the legislation most effectively, subject to parliamentary approval of the commencement order. This recognises the collective desire for more time to implement these measures and for more time to scrutinise them. It does so by requiring a commencement order to be laid and approved by both Houses before the Act can come into force.
In accepting Motion A, therefore, this House is accepting that Lords Amendment 1, due to its current wording, would delay the implementation of the scheme until June 2011 at the earliest. This is because it prevents regulations being made and signed by the Minister before laying until 1 April 2011 at the earliest. Many people in many places say that April 2011 implementation is what they want, and we have committed in another place to bringing in the regulations which would achieve this.
Accepting Motion C recognises that Lords Amendment 4 inserts what is known as a sunset clause and would require the Act resulting from this Bill to lapse at the end of two years after Royal Assent unless there were regulations in force. This is now not a necessary amendment. The White Paper now makes clear that the personal care offer enabled by this Bill is an integral part of the staged route to a national care service.
It is clear from Reason 3A why Motion B is being moved. The amendment has been subject to debate in both this House and another place. The Minister for Care Services in another place, Phil Hope, applauded the quality of the debate in the House of Lords. He described it as being of our usual consistent high standard and it has led us to include, among other things, the transitional portability of assessment.
I hope that these proposals now clearly show that we have tried to achieve a consensus on the way forward. I beg to move.
My Lords, I moved the amendment to delay the implementation of the Bill until April next year in your Lordships’ House, where it was carried by a huge majority. I was representing the views of local government as articulated by the Local Government Association, of which I am president. I might now be expected to be rather disappointed by the rejection of the amendment by the other place; however, by accepting subsequent Amendment 2, which was moved by the noble Lord, Lord Lipsey, the other place has provided the opportunity for implementation of the legislation at a later date than that proposed in my amendment. The Secretary of State, Andy Burnham, and the Minister of Health, Phil Hope, have given commitments that implementation will not begin before 1 April 2011. The Local Government Association has therefore expressed itself as very pleased with this change achieved by your Lordships, for which the LGA is most grateful.
Motion A agreed.
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“( ) This Act shall not come into force until the Secretary of State has commissioned an independent review of the affordability of the provisions contained within this Act and has laid the report of that review before both Houses of Parliament.”
The Commons disagree to Lords Amendment No. 3, for the following Reason-
3A: Because it would involve a charge on public funds, and the Commons do not offer any further Reason, trusting that this Reason may be deemed sufficient.
Motion B agreed.
4: Insert the following new Clause-
“Expiry(1) This Act shall cease to have effect at the end of the period of two years beginning with the day on which it is passed unless the condition in subsection (2) is satisfied.
(2) The condition is that regulations made under section 15 of the Community Care (Delayed Discharges etc.) Act 2003, having the effect of requiring the provision of personal care at home free of charge for periods of more than six weeks, are in force.”
The Commons disagree to Lords Amendment No. 4, for the following Reason-
4A: Because it would alter the financial arrangements made by the Commons, and the Commons do not offer any further Reason, trusting that this Reason may be deemed sufficient.
Motion C agreed.