More dirty tricks from government over welfare reform?

WRB webpage shows next event TBA

The welfare reform bill is back in the House of Commons after 14:30 today as part of “ping-pong” between the Commons and the Lords, but you wouldn’t know it if you relied on the usual methods of finding out.

The last event for this bill was debate in the House of Lords on the 14th and I have been checking the Parliament website and waiting for an email to inform me of the next event for the bill, to no avail. Until this morning the order of business for the House of Commons simply said “Consideration of Lords amendments if necessary” and until a few minutes ago the official Welfare Reform Bill web page still said that the next event was “To be announced”.

WRB webpage shows next event TBA
The WRB webpage at 11:15 today

 

The order of business for today and the official website have finally been updated with very short notice for the debate. This matters because MPs don’t always attend debates – they have many other things to do in their offices and their constituencies or elsewhere.

https://twitter.com/#!/markmiwordsblog/status/171915754663444482

The agenda for today now includes:

“Legislation

Welfare Reform Bill – Consideration of Lords amendments”

And the website for the bill now says:

Next event

  • Ping Pong | 21.02.2012

An email has finally arrived in my inbox to inform me of this update. It carries a timestamp of 7:56 but it only turned up in the last half hour.

We have to ask why the announcement of this has been delayed until the day itself. Is this normal behaviour for Parliament? Or perhaps this is an effort to bury the bill in an effort to prevent MPs who plan to rebel from turning up?

https://twitter.com/#!/johnleechmcr/status/171897318671523840

With the government also having taken measures to limit the debate today to one single hour in total and with Lord Freud having previously re-amended the Lord’s amendments late at night after peers had gone home, my money is on the latter.

Here are the proposed amendments for today: Consideration of Lords Message – Welfare Reform Bill

Update: I received an email at 11:56 which carries another development. In addition to limiting the debate to a maximum of one hour the government have now grouped together all of the amendments and objections today into one vote. [PDF]

21 FEBRUARY 2012
WELFARE REFORM BILL
Consideration of Lords Message
GROUPING PROPOSED BY THE MEMBER IN CHARGE OF THE BILL
Government motion to disagree with Lords Amendments 3B and 26B + Government motion not to insist on Amendment 19A and to agree with Lords Amendments 17B to 17D and 19B + Government motion to agree with Lords Amendment 73BA

[1 hour after commencement.

21 February 2012

By Order of the Speaker

Author: Latentexistence

The world is broken and I can't fix it because I am broken. I can, however, rant about it all and this is where I do that when I can get my thoughts together. Most of the time you'll find my words on Twitter rather than here though. I sometimes write for Where's The Benefit too.