Order of Commitment Discharged
Relevant document: 19th Report from the Delegated Powers Committee.
That the order of commitment be discharged.
My Lords, I understand that no amendments have been set down to this Bill and no noble Lord has indicated a wish to move a manuscript amendment or to speak in Committee. However, I understand that a question is to be asked from the Labour Front Bench.
My Lords, I shall be uncharacteristically brief at this late stage. I congratulate the noble Lord and the Government on proceeding with the Bill. It is very welcome. However, I hope that the noble Lord will take the opportunity after the Bill passes, which undoubtedly it will, to raise a couple of points with the Government—not immediately, perhaps. The Delegated Powers Committee published a report this week which, at paragraph 18, on the code of practice, raises a point about the method of revising the codes. I am not expecting any kind of formal response today, but perhaps the noble Lord will look at that. Perhaps he can also, in a relatively short time, invite the Government to say how they are going to approach reviewing the £61 million funding in the light of the possible increase in homelessness arising from the housing benefit issue which has been so controversial this week. I am not expecting the Minister or the noble Lord, Lord Best, to reply today, but those two points should be looked at in the next period.
I add our thanks to the noble Lord, Lord Best, for all his work on the Bill, which has been appreciated within Parliament and outside it. It shows that the amount of work done prior to the presentation of a Bill in the other place and here reaps rewards, because the Bill is very sound. I pay tribute to the work done on this by the noble Lord, Lord Best, which has got us to the position we are now in.
I thank noble Lords for their kind remarks. Bob Blackman MP in the House of Commons deserves the real credit for this Bill. I certainly undertake to speak with the Minister about the point raised by the noble Lord, Lord Beecham. The review of whether the sum allocated to fund the Homelessness Reduction Bill is sufficient will happen after the end of the first year of operation and will finish before the end of the second year, so that before two years are up we will know whether enough money has been made available to really bring about the reduction in homelessness. If insufficient funds have been available, I shall be the first to say so. I beg to move that the order of commitment be discharged.