Saturday, October 13, 2012

Published elsewhere: Next week in the Lords - 15-18 October

It looks as though this column may be going down in flames, now that the Lords have appointed a new Media and PR Officer, but until we do...

Days 7 and 8 of the Committee Stage of the Financial Services Bill dominate the week. And, as I still don't understand it, I'm going to see if I can get an explanation. Watch, hopefully, this space... However, Amendment 197, to be moved by Lord Flight, requires banks to transfer accounts to a new institution, if requested, within ten working days and without charge. I suspect that the banks won't like this, but as it is suggested that people are more likely to divorce than to change bank, creating a more meaningful market in retail banking can only be encouraged. Interesting that the idea should come from a Conservative though...

Day 2 of the Report Stage of the Local Government Finance Bill takes place on Tuesday. I'm led to understand that there are rumblings about the impact of this legislation on the voluntary sector and on social enterprises, so we'll see if they can sort this out, as promised by Baroness Hanham before the summer recess.

There are two other pieces of legislation to be debated in the Chamber. On Monday, we have the Report Stage of the Trusts (Capital and Income) Bill, a piece of legislation so fiendishly complex that it required a Special Public Bill Committee to steer it through its First and Second Readings. On Friday, we have one of the backlog of Private Members' Bills, the Inheritance (Cohabitants) Bill, sponsored by Anthony Lester from the Liberal Democrat benches, which seeks to give new rights for cohabitants when their partner dies.

On the Committee corridor, EU Sub-Committee B takes evidence from Jo Swinson as part of its inquiry into 'Women on boards', a subject taken up by Kishwer Falkner on Wednesday in her oral question on European Commission policies on women on corporate boards. On Wednesday, Danny Alexander is questioned by the Economic Affairs Committee as they continue to examine the potential impact of Scottish independence on the UK economy.

Apart from Kishwer Falkner's question on Wednesday, there are oral questions on Monday from Derek Ezra (ninety-three years young) on UK self-sufficiency in energy, on Tuesday from Claire Tyler on the recommendations of the Riots, Communities and Victims Panel on building character and personal resilience, and on Thursday from Sally Hamwee on Anti-Slavery Day and awareness that individuals may be the subject of modern slavery. There will also be debates on developments in the bus industry, sponsored by Bill Bradshaw, and, in Grand Committee on the report of the European Union Committee on The EU: Sudan and South Sudan Follow-up Report, to be opened by Robin Teverson.

Finally, Thursday sees a debate to mark the centenary of the Scott expedition to Antarctica. I know that Ros and I covered a lot of miles during her tenure as Party President, but I really didn't think that we'd got that far...


Anonymous said...

Maybe you could ask over breakfast
why Baroness Scott supported Poll
Tax markII when she had the
opportunity to, on the vote
calling for a review.

Mark Valladares said...

Dear Anonymous,

Curiously, I don't hold her to account for her votes, even where we disagree.

However, a vote to insist on a review of the new legislation after three years is, in itself, utterly meaningless. If the policy is so obviously bad, you oppose it, you don't say, "Let's review it to see how bad it has been.". So, let me ask you, what impact would a 2015 review have had on those you clearly feel so strongly about?

And then, having done so, consider the amendment calling for discretion on the discount to be restricted to between 20% and 25%, which would have saved those same people at least most of the potential increase in costs. And look at the vote that took place. Where were Labour? Supporting the Government. Where was Baroness Scott? Voting against it.

Labour could have supported that, and achieved a tangible gain for those affected. Ask them why they didn't...