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Government defeated in the Lords on tax credits watch

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    (Original post by cBay)
    I have very little time for the House of Lords as a concept in the 21st century, but they have done the right thing here.
    I agree. On the one hand they are a thoroughly outdated concept, but on the other, they do take their responsibility to the country very seriously. I truly believe they have done the right thing here by making the government rethink their ideas. There was a motion tabled to destroy this bill which was voted down by the peers.

    Wasn't the last time they exerted their power when Tony Blair tried to pass his terrorism legislation that would allow people to be detained for 90 days without charge?
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    Just because you entirely lack nuance on the subject doesn't mean everyone else has to pick a 'change everything' or 'never complain' position.
    Ooh, are you a bit frustrated? Try not to take it out on the rest of us

    Jacob Rees-Mogg explained the objection on the Daily Politics on Friday. It's still on iPlayer. The suggestion is that this is a breach of a constitutional convention which exists precisely because the House of Lords is unelected. To maintain this position does not require one to support reform of the House.
    And people like Jacob Rees Mogg are the ones who have voted to maintain the unelected upper house. Governments of the day love maintaining the lords as an upper house because it means they will never have to face the legitimacy of an elected upper house, like in Germany or Australia, that would actually be a check on their power.

    As for "lacking nuance", I would suggest that is entirely your offence in respect of your obvious confusion with regards to the convention (or lack thereof) that relate specifically to statutory instruments
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    (Original post by spurs9393)
    I love the way how lefties who always go on about Lords Reform and now defending them, just because one 'result' went in their favour.Posted from TSR Mobile
    And I love the way righties are now whittering on about Lords reform having prevented it for so long.
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    And I love the way righties are now whittering on about Lords reform having prevented it for so long.
    I've always been for Lords Reform, but not complete abolition. I think there should be a limit on the number of Lords, people should be appointed on merit by a democratically elected body and those who have inherited their titles should be removed from the Lords. I believe the Lords should reflect the Commons in terms of party proportions, and also there should be a certain number of Lords for certain issues, eg 100 appointed for business matters etc etc


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    (Original post by spurs9393)
    I love the way how lefties who always go on about Lords Reform and now defending them, just because one 'result' went in their favour.
    I love how righties who always defend the House of Lords are now attacking them being on result went against them.

    In any case, you are confused (and obviously butthurt). I actually support the House of Lords and so there is no inconsistency here. So that only leaves your inconsistency.
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    (Original post by SignFromDog)
    I love how righties who always defend the House of Lords are now attacking them being on result went against them.

    In any case, you are confused (and obviously butthurt). I actually support the House of Lords and so there is no inconsistency here. So that only leaves your inconsistency.
    If you read my post above you'll see how I've always been for reform of the lords, but not complete abolition. I believe they do have some use as a revising chamber but should not be superior to the democratically elected House of Commons.


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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    I agree. On the one hand they are a thoroughly outdated concept, but on the other, they do take their responsibility to the country very seriously. I truly believe they have done the right thing here by making the government rethink their ideas. There was a motion tabled to destroy this bill which was voted down by the peers.

    Wasn't the last time they exerted their power when Tony Blair tried to pass his terrorism legislation that would allow people to be detained for 90 days without charge?
    The last time they killed an SI with a fatal motion was in 2007 over the super-casinos, but they have also passed many non-fatal regret and 'take-note' motions, which allow the instrument to pass but with detail of the House's concerns attached. They are still embarrassing to the Government and it tries to avoid them.

    Professor Russell speaks:

    In the period 1999-2012 the Lords voted on 27 fatal and 42 non-fatal motions, which resulted in 17 defeats – just three of them on fatal motions. The details of these defeats are in my book: two occurred in 2000 over arrangements for the London mayoral elections, and another in 2007 over the Manchester ‘supercasino’.
    More interesting data here, some graphical charts from page 20 onwards.
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    (Original post by spurs9393)
    I've always been for Lords Reform, but not complete abolition. I think there should be a limit on the number of Lords, people should be appointed on merit by a democratically elected body and those who have inherited their titles should be removed from the Lords. I believe the Lords should reflect the Commons in terms of party proportions, and also there should be a certain number of Lords for certain issues, eg 100 appointed for business matters etc etcPosted from TSR Mobile
    Interesting. But if the Lords was a reflection of the Commons in terms of proportions, is there not a risk that they are whipped into line on party terms and bad legislation is rail-roaded through the system?

    It gives me much comfort and reassurance that our upper chamber are prepared to make a stand against the Commons regardless of party simply on the merits of the legislation being proposed.
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    (Original post by gladders)
    The last time they killed an SI with a fatal motion was in 2007 over the super-casinos, but they have also passed many non-fatal regret and 'take-note' motions, which allow the instrument to pass but with detail of the House's concerns attached. They are still embarrassing to the Government and it tries to avoid them.

    Professor Russell speaks:

    More interesting data here, some graphical charts from page 20 onwards.
    In fact, after the hereditaries were thrown out in 1999, the Tory leader in the upper house, Lord Strathclyde, said that whatever putative convention may have existed re statutory instruments is now dead.

    It is also an unsupportable suggestion to assert this SI is a financial measure. First, there as never been any definition or codification of SI's as financial measures (as happens for primary legislation in respect of money bills and financial matters).

    Second, the underlying legislation under why this SI was laid before the house, the Tax Credits Act 2002, was itself not a money bill. All the conservative shrieking comes down to pique; they do not have a serious constitutional argument here.

    The Commons still has its primacy on financial matters; if it wants to enact it in primary legislation it can. Except that then it would have to face considerable additional scrutiny in the Commons.
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    What is an embarrassment is that the Tories have appointed nobodies to the Lords, like Cameron's Deputy Chief of Staff (who failed to be selected for a commons seat) and one of Iain Duncan Smith's special advisors. No government has stuffed the Lords with new peers (and unsuitable ones, like nightclub owners and the owners of lingerie businesses) at the rate Cameron has since 2010
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    Interesting. But if the Lords was a reflection of the Commons in terms of proportions, is there not a risk that they are whipped into line on party terms and bad legislation is rail-roaded through the system?

    It gives me much comfort and reassurance that our upper chamber are prepared to make a stand against the Commons regardless of party simply on the merits of the legislation being proposed.
    Your point about party whips is a valid one, however that is true in both chambers. It's up to individuals - both in the commons and lords - to vote based on what they believe. Party whips can never be avoided, unfortunately.


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    (Original post by SignFromDog)
    In fact, after the hereditaries were thrown out in 1999, the Tory leader in the upper house, Lord Strathclyde, said that whatever putative convention may have existed re statutory instruments is now dead.
    Interesting, I never knew that. Could you link to it? Would be worth a read.
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    Did find this, though: "That this House affirms its unfettered freedom to vote on any subordinate legislation submitted for its consideration."

    http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/l...voting-freedom
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    Just because you entirely lack nuance on the subject doesn't mean everyone else has to pick a 'change everything' or 'never complain' position.

    Jacob Rees-Mogg explained the objection on the Daily Politics on Friday. It's still on iPlayer. The suggestion is that this is a breach of a constitutional convention which exists precisely because the House of Lords is unelected. To maintain this position does not require one to support reform of the House.
    Well, he's wrong. Financial privilege means that the Lords cannot block a money bill - but this isn't a money bill. It was being pushed through as a statutory instrument. If it was a proper bill, it would have had to go through a process of multiple readings and debates. The Tories were trying to take a legislative shortcut, and it backfired. It's amazing the Tories thought a chamber packed with lawyers wouldn't spot this.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    Just because you entirely lack nuance on the subject doesn't mean everyone else has to pick a 'change everything' or 'never complain' position.

    Jacob Rees-Mogg explained the objection on the Daily Politics on Friday. It's still on iPlayer. The suggestion is that this is a breach of a constitutional convention which exists precisely because the House of Lords is unelected. To maintain this position does not require one to support reform of the House.
    Unfortunately Mr. Rees-Mogg is quoting ancient material that refers to Acts of Parliament and budgets, not to secondary legislation, and the Conventions Committee 2006 and a 1994 debate in the Lords show that the conventions surrounding secondary legislation are quite different. And that's aside from the fact that the Tax Credits regulations are welfare in nature, not financial.
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    (Original post by gladders)
    Did find this, though: "That this House affirms its unfettered freedom to vote on any subordinate legislation submitted for its consideration."

    http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/l...voting-freedom
    This article from the UCL Constitution Unit claims that Lord Strathclyde said "I declare this convention dead", though Milbank Systems didn't return anything with those exact words.

    I found another source

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...ention&f=false

    Which says "the House of Lords should not regularly reject statutory instruments, but that in exceptional circumstances it may be appropriate to do so".

    As has been pointed out, there is no basis to refer to a statutory instrument as a "money instrument". There is no such provision or convention. Mong's hypocrisy on Newsnight (ranting about how the Lords is now has a "left-wing majority" and must be curtailed is truly breathtaking... and constitutionally ignorant)
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    (Original post by gladders)
    And that's aside from the fact that the Tax Credits regulations are welfare in nature, not financial.
    I made that point on the Guardian last night myself. In previous years the Tories have never tired of reminding us that tax credits are not actually a tax refund, they are a welfare measure.
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    (Original post by SignFromDog)
    This article from the UCL Constitution Unit claims that Lord Strathclyde said "I declare this convention dead", though Milbank Systems didn't return anything with those exact words.
    You may be interested in a debate in the Lords on October 20th 1994 where the House asserted, nemine contradicente, that it has absolute veto over any and all secondary legislation.
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    (Original post by gladders)
    Unfortunately Mr. Rees-Mogg is quoting ancient material that refers to Acts of Parliament and budgets, not to secondary legislation, and the Conventions Committee 2006 and a 1994 debate in the Lords show that the conventions surrounding secondary legislation are quite different. And that's aside from the fact that the Tax Credits regulations are welfare in nature, not financial.
    I find your distinction between welfare and financial matters highly spurious. I'm aware of the point as to certification by the commons of a piece of legislation as a money bill, and that may be a decisive argument. I'm not an expert and I don't intend to get involved in that. My point was that it is stupid to go on about the fact that the tories in general have not pushed for lords reform. That really isn't what's in issue.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    I find your distinction between welfare and financial matters highly spurious. I'm aware of the point as to certification by the commons of a piece of legislation as a money bill, and that may be a decisive argument. I'm not an expert and I don't intend to get involved in that. My point was that it is stupid to go on about the fact that the tories in general have not pushed for lords reform. That really isn't what's in issue.
    You're right, the Tories in general haven't pushed for Lords reform. I was responding as much to Mr Rees-Mogg as I was to you

    And in any case, whatever distinctions anyone may have between finance and welfare matters, the fact is that the House has on record, and the Government and the Commons never previously contested, that the Lords has absolute veto over any SI of any nature.
 
 
 
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