Thursday, April 13, 2006

At last, some good news


The Financial Times reports that the government may be about to back down on the Legislative & Regulatory Reform Bill (good, because I'm sick of typing its name out):
Jim Murphy, the cabinet office minister, said the government would back down from the highly contentious plans [...] He said he would amend the legislative and regulatory reform bill “so that it can no longer be misconstrued as an attempt by government to take a wider constitutional power”.

“At the moment, in clause one, the bill deliberately seeks to take a wide power,” Mr Murphy said. “We’re going to focus that power more on regulatory outcomes, such things as productivity and competitiveness and reducing bureaucracy, rather than replacing legislation.”

The minister also pledged to give a statutory veto to the regulatory reform select committees in the Commons and Lords, allowing them to block proposals to fast-track legislative changes under the new law.
Of course, as Spyblog (from whom I got the link) notes, select committees are generally dominated by government MPs, so these concessions may not be as concessive (is this a word?) as they sound. Murphy's promise that the Bill won't be used to replace legislation may be worth as much as most Zanu-Labour promises of recent years.


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