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Electricity and Gas (Carbon Emissions Reduction) (Amendment) Order 2010

Volume 720: debated on Wednesday 28 July 2010

Motion to Approve

Moved By

That the draft order laid before the House on 14 July be approved.

Relevant Document: 2nd Report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, considered in Grand Committee on 26 July.

My Lords, before the House moves to approve the Motion, perhaps I can raise a point with the Minister. This matter was discussed very fully in Grand Committee two days ago, but I draw the attention of the House to the Merits Committee’s report on the order which drew attention to the fact that the draft statutory instrument had been laid with a detailed impact assessment running to 77 pages. The committee reported that, given the speed with which the Government wished this SI to proceed, it has not had the opportunity to make any detailed assessment of it.

I thank the Merits Committee for its work and for its report. Of course, I accept that there are circumstances in which Governments need to process statutory instruments as quickly as possible, but it is important that the Merits Committee is given sufficient time to do its job effectively. I ask the noble Lord whether he can give an assurance that in future statutory instruments laid by his department will be laid in time for the committee to have the time that it needs to report fully to the House.

My Lords, the Merits Committee chose not to draw the instrument to the special attention of the House but, as the noble Lord said, it included an overview paragraph. This statutory instrument was laid after 30 days of public consultation and the committee complained in its report that it had not had sufficient time, but we believe that this order is fundamental to keeping the pressure up on developing a low-carbon economy, and so we took those measures.

Motion agreed.