Tories and LibDems decide to play more games with the Welfare Reform Bill

Normally any late change to the order of business in the House of Lords is agreed through the “usual channels“.  This is to make sure that the relevant spokespeople are available.

I understand that the Government are trying to schedule a vote on the Welfare Reform Bill for late on the evening of Wednesday 29th February.  This is part of the “ping pong” procedure and will be when the House of Lords considers the reversal by the House of Commons of the Lords’ amendment on the so-called “bedroom tax“.

Normally Consideration of Commons Amendments is given priority in the order of business and is usually taken immediately after Question Time, when the House is at its fullest.  This, of course, is the second time that the Bill has been returned to the Lords by the Commons, which means that, if the Lords rejects the latest Commons amendment, the two Houses are moving firmly into constitutional crisis territory.  All the more surprising therefore that the Government are trying to take this vote late on Wednesday.

However, is it surprising?

Or is it yet another cynical manoeuvre by the Conservatives and LibDems to make major changes in the benefits system without proper debate and adequate scrutiny?

2 thoughts on “Tories and LibDems decide to play more games with the Welfare Reform Bill”

  1. They’d transfer proceeding to a late night session at Dr Evadne Give’s late night launderama to get it through without public scrutiny.

  2. The Party’s evidence in 1999 for the Wakeham smmoiscion stated [para 70] the electorate will prefer to have a wholly elected Senate. I wrote [115/ 99] to the then Leader saying that Constituencies need not, and should not, have geographical bases akin to those for the Commons which might be seen as infringing their rights. The second chamber needs to to be able to call on specialist knowledge and opinions covering the whole field of potential legislation. But it also needs to have universal franchise and must not be seen as a quango of eletists. I suggest the way to do this is to construct new Constituencies covering the whole range of human activities, businesses, charities, enterprises, hobbies, pensioners, sports and so forth. Each would need to have a representative body such as a Trade Union, a Professional Organisation or a Society with enough members to qualify for a seat in the Lords. Smaller groups would no doubt band together in order to achieve the minimum size. Individuals would have to choose the organisation within which they wished to vote. As a gardener, pensioner, scientist and yachtsman I could still only have one vote! The equivalent of the Boundary Commission would need to ensure that the number of approved groups was equal to the proposed number of seats in parliament. Members of the Societies would put their names forward for election much as is now done for the Commons with ballot papers and, presumably, a transferable vote system.

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