Utilities Bill — Obligation in connection with electricity from renewable sources — 19 Apr 2000

I beg to move amendment No. 26, in page 54, line 46, at end insert--

'(9) No penalty fixed by the Authority under this section may exceed 5 per cent. of the turnover of the licence holder (determined in accordance with such provisions as may be specified in an order made by the Secretary of State).'.

The Bill does not set an upper limit for the financial penalty. It is the policy intention that any penalty imposed will be reasonable and proportionate to the contravention or failure. However, in the absence of firm legal provision, the Authority has considerable discretion, the very element that the Bill aims to eradicate. The electricity industry finds the Bill to be lacking in this respect and would wish to see a cap on the penalty that the Authority is able to impose included in the Bill.

Companies are already subject to a variety of financial sanctions under the Companies Act 2000--

under price controls imposed by the regulator, and the compensation requirements to customers where service standards are not met . . . companies should not be exposed to the multiple risk of incurring financial penalties from a number of different sources, each determined in isolation. The level of any fine should take into account other financial sanctions on companies and the Bill should impose an upper limit on the level of fines that can be imposed.

I suppose that a serious contravention could attract a penalty of more than 10 per cent.

if there were instances of widespread, repeated and serious malpractice--doorstep selling tactics, perhaps.

the persistent failure to restore supplies after predictable power outages in winter.--[ Official Report, Standing Committee A , 28 March 2000; c. 555-56.]

over-stringent methods may increase regulatory risk, costing industry more in borrowing, and ultimately increasing the burden on the end consumer.

The Government is giving itself considerable new powers to direct regulation. We want to see these used judiciously and transparently, with proper consultation, avoiding regulatory shocks which have the effect of increasing uncertainty, which in turn leads to increased costs. However, ministers have acknowledged this, and we take heart from their declared commitment to regulatory stability.

The Times reports that competition experts have been shocked by the proposal for unlimited fines, stating:

Competition experts were astounded the Bill imposes no limit on the fines the regulator could impose on companies. The regulator has carte blanche to determine a tariff of fines which he must publish and companies will have a right of appeal. But the failure to impose a limit means fines could exceed the maximum level under the Competition Act of 10 per cent. of turnover.

I find the bill over-complicated because it is over-prescriptive. Nothing is left to good sense.

I find the bill over-complicated because it is over-prescriptive. Nothing is left to good sense.

That is as great a condemnation as we have heard of the Bill from any source. Ian Byatt is not playing a party political card; he is simply expressing his experience of being a regulator.

The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry will be able to require electricity supply companies to generate a proportion of electricity from renewable sources. This will be enforceable by the regulator using his general enforcement powers, including the power to impose monetary penalties.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn .

Amendment proposed: No. 3, in page 60, leave out lines 37 to 40.-- [Mr. Pope.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:--

The House divided: Ayes 260, Noes 30.

Historical Hansard | Online Hansard |

All Votes Cast - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party are marked in red. Also shows which MPs were ministers at the time of this vote. You can also see every eligible MP including those who did not vote in this division.

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

NameConstituencyPartyVote
Mrs Irene AdamsPaisley NorthLab (minister)aye
Nick AingerCarmarthen West and South PembrokeshireLabaye
Bob AinsworthCoventry North EastLab (minister)aye
Douglas AlexanderPaisley SouthLabaye
Graham AllenNottingham NorthLab (minister)aye
Janet AndersonRossendale and DarwenLab (minister)aye
Charlotte AtkinsStaffordshire MoorlandsLabaye
John AustinErith and ThamesmeadLabaye
Mr Tony BanksWest HamLab (minister)aye
Mr Harry BarnesNorth East DerbyshireLabaye
Kevin BarronRother ValleyLab (minister)aye
John BattleLeeds WestLab (minister)aye
Hugh BayleyCity of YorkLab (minister)aye
Mr Nigel BeardBexleyheath and CrayfordLabaye
Margaret BeckettDerby SouthLab (minister)aye
Anne BeggAberdeen SouthLab (minister)aye
Stuart BellMiddlesbroughLab (minister)aye
Hilary BennLeeds CentralLab (minister)aye
Mr Tony BennChesterfieldLabaye
Joe BentonBootleLabaye
Mr Harold BestLeeds North WestLabaye
Clive BettsSheffield, AttercliffeLab (minister)aye
Hazel BlearsSalfordLabaye
Bob BlizzardWaveneyLabaye
David BorrowSouth RibbleLabaye
Mr Keith BradleyManchester, WithingtonLab (minister)aye
Mr Peter BradleyThe WrekinLabaye
Ben BradshawExeterLab (minister)aye
Russell BrownDumfriesLab (minister)aye
Des BrowneKilmarnock and LoudounLabaye
Karen BuckRegent's Park and Kensington NorthLab (minister)aye
Colin BurgonElmetLabaye
Mrs Christine ButlerCastle PointLabaye
Stephen ByersNorth TynesideLab (minister)aye
Richard CabornSheffield CentralLab (minister)aye
Ronnie CampbellBlyth ValleyLab (minister)aye
Mr Dale Campbell-SavoursWorkingtonLab (minister)aye
Mr Jamie CannIpswichLabaye
Mr Roger CasaleWimbledonLabaye
Martin CatonGowerLab (minister)aye
Ian CawseyBrigg and GooleLabaye
Ben ChapmanWirral SouthLabaye
Malcolm ChisholmEdinburgh North and LeithLabaye
Michael ClaphamBarnsley West and PenistoneLabaye
Dr David ClarkSouth ShieldsLabaye
Ms Helen ClarkPeterboroughLabaye
Dr Lynda ClarkEdinburgh PentlandsLab (minister)aye
Charles ClarkeNorwich SouthLab (minister)aye
Tom ClarkeCoatbridge and ChrystonLabaye
Mr Tony ClarkeNorthampton SouthLabaye
Ann ClwydCynon ValleyLab (minister)aye
Vernon CoakerGedlingLabaye
Ann CoffeyStockportLab (minister)aye
Harry CohenLeyton and WansteadLabaye
Michael ConnartyFalkirk EastLab (minister)aye
Frank CookStockton NorthLabaye
Jim CousinsNewcastle upon Tyne CentralLabaye
David CrausbyBolton North EastLab (minister)aye
John CryerHornchurchLab (minister)aye
Jim CunninghamCoventry SouthLab (minister)aye
Mr Keith DarvillUpminsterLabaye
Mrs Valerie DaveyBristol WestLabaye
Mr Denzil DaviesLlanelliLabaye
Geraint DaviesCroydon CentralLab (minister)aye
Mr Terry DavisBirmingham, Hodge HillLabaye
Mr Hilton DawsonLancaster and WyreLabaye
Janet DeanBurtonLabaye
Andrew DismoreHendonLabaye
Jim DobbinHeywood and MiddletonLabaye
Frank DoranAberdeen CentralLabaye
Jim DowdLewisham WestLab (minister)aye
Angela EagleWallaseyLab (minister)aye
Maria EagleLiverpool, GarstonLabaye
Clive EffordElthamLab (minister)aye
Jeff EnnisBarnsley East and MexboroughLabaye
Bill EtheringtonSunderland NorthLabaye
Frank FieldBirkenheadLabaye
Jim FitzpatrickPoplar and Canning TownLabaye
Caroline FlintDon ValleyLabaye
Paul FlynnNewport WestLabaye
Michael FosterWorcesterLabaye
Michael Jabez FosterHastings and RyeLabaye
Mrs Maria FyfeGlasgow MaryhillLabaye
Mike GapesIlford SouthLab (minister)aye
Barry GardinerBrent NorthLab (minister)aye
Bruce GeorgeWalsall SouthLabaye
Ian GibsonNorwich NorthLabaye
Linda GilroyPlymouth, SuttonLabaye
Roger GodsiffBirmingham, Sparkbrook and Small HeathLabaye
Paul GogginsWythenshawe and Sale EastLabaye
Mrs Llin GoldingNewcastle-under-LymeLab (minister)aye
Mrs Eileen GordonRomfordLabaye
Ms Jane GriffithsReading EastLabaye
Nigel GriffithsEdinburgh SouthLabaye
Mr Win GriffithsBridgendLabaye
Mr Bruce GrocottTelfordLabaye
John GroganSelbyLab (minister)aye
Peter HainNeathLabaye
Mike HallWeaver ValeLab (minister)aye
Fabian HamiltonLeeds North EastLab (minister)aye
David HansonDelynLab (minister)aye
Harriet HarmanCamberwell and PeckhamLab (minister)aye
Sylvia HealHalesowen and Rowley Regiswhilst Labaye
John HealeyWentworthLabaye
Stephen HepburnJarrowLab (minister)aye
John HeppellNottingham EastLabaye
Stephen HesfordWirral WestLabaye
Keith HillStreathamLab (minister)aye
Kate HoeyVauxhallLab (minister)aye
Geoff HoonAshfieldLab (minister)aye
Phil HopeCorbyLabaye
Kim HowellsPontypriddLab (minister)aye
Beverley HughesStretford and UrmstonLab (minister)aye
Mr Kevin HughesDoncaster NorthLab (minister)aye
Joan HumbleBlackpool North and FleetwoodLabaye
Mr Alan HurstBraintreeLabaye
John HuttonBarrow and FurnessLab (minister)aye
Brian IddonBolton South EastLabaye
Mrs Helen JacksonSheffield, HillsboroughLabaye
Mr David JamiesonPlymouth, DevonportLab (minister)aye
Brian JenkinsTamworthLabaye
Helen JonesWarrington NorthLab (minister)aye
Ms Jenny JonesWolverhampton South WestLabaye
Lynne JonesBirmingham, Selly OakLabaye
Martyn JonesClwyd SouthLabaye
Gerald KaufmanManchester, GortonLab (minister)aye
Sally KeebleNorthampton NorthLabaye
Alan KeenFeltham and HestonLabaye
Fraser KempHoughton and Washington EastLabaye
Jane KennedyLiverpool, WavertreeLab (minister)aye
Piara S KhabraEaling, SouthallLabaye
David KidneyStaffordLabaye
Mr Andy KingRugby and KenilworthLabaye
Ashok KumarMiddlesbrough South and East ClevelandLabaye
Stephen LadymanSouth ThanetLabaye
Mrs Jackie LawrencePreseli PembrokeshireLabaye
David LepperBrighton, PavilionLabaye
Chris LeslieShipleyLabaye
Tom LevittHigh PeakLabaye
Mrs Helen LiddellAirdrie and ShottsLab (minister)aye
Martin LintonBatterseaLabaye
Tony LloydManchester CentralLabaye
Mr David LockWyre ForestLab (minister)aye
Mr Calum MacDonaldNa h-Eileanan an IarLabaye
Andrew MacKinlayThurrockLabaye
Mrs Alice MahonHalifaxLabaye
Gordon MarsdenBlackpool SouthLab (minister)aye
Mr Paul MarsdenShrewsbury and AtchamLabaye
David MarshallGlasgow ShettlestonLabaye
Dr Jim MarshallLeicester SouthLabaye
Robert Marshall-AndrewsMedwayLabaye
Eric MartlewCarlisleLabaye
Mr John MaxtonGlasgow CathcartLab (minister)aye
John McAllionDundee EastLabaye
Thomas McAvoyGlasgow RutherglenLab (minister)aye
Steve McCabeBirmingham, Hall GreenLab (minister)aye
Chris McCaffertyCalder ValleyLabaye
Siobhain McDonaghMitcham and MordenLabaye
Anne McGuireStirlingLab (minister)tellaye
Shona McIsaacCleethorpesLabaye
Rosemary McKennaCumbernauld and KilsythLabaye
Tony McNultyHarrow EastLab (minister)aye
Michael MeacherOldham West and RoytonLab (minister)aye
Alan MealeMansfieldLab (minister)aye
Alun MichaelCardiff South and PenarthLabaye
Mr Bill MichieSheffield, HeeleyLabaye
Andrew MillerEllesmere Port and NestonLabaye
Austin MitchellGreat GrimsbyLab (minister)aye
Laura MoffattCrawleyLabaye
Dr Lewis MoonieKirkcaldyLab (minister)aye
Julie MorganCardiff NorthLabaye
Ms Estelle MorrisBirmingham, YardleyLab (minister)aye
Kali MountfordColne ValleyLabaye
Dr Mo MowlamRedcarLab (minister)aye
George MudieLeeds EastLabaye
Chris MullinSunderland SouthLab (minister)aye
Jim MurphyEast RenfrewshireLab (minister)aye
Paul MurphyTorfaenLab (minister)aye
Doug NaysmithBristol North WestLabaye
Dan NorrisWansdykeLabaye
Mr Bill O'BrienNormantonLabaye
Mike O'BrienNorth WarwickshireLab (minister)aye
Bill OlnerNuneatonLabaye
Mrs Diana OrganForest of DeanLabaye
Nick PalmerBroxtoweLabaye
Ian PearsonDudley SouthLabaye
Mr Tom PendryStalybridge and HydeLabaye
Mr Colin PickthallWest LancashireLabaye
Mr Peter PikeBurnleyLabaye
James PlaskittWarwick and LeamingtonLabaye
Mr Kerry PollardSt AlbansLabaye
Mr Chris PondGraveshamLabaye
Greg PopeHyndburnLab (minister)aye
Steve PoundEaling NorthLab (minister)aye
Mr Raymond PowellOgmoreLabaye
Bridget PrenticeLewisham EastLabaye
Gordon PrenticePendleLabaye
John PrescottKingston upon Hull EastLab (minister)aye
Gwyn ProsserDoverLabaye
Ken PurchaseWolverhampton North EastLabaye
Ms Joyce QuinGateshead East and Washington WestLab (minister)aye
Mr Lawrie QuinnScarborough and WhitbyLabaye
Bill RammellHarlowLabaye
Mr Syd RapsonPortsmouth NorthLabaye
Nick RaynsfordGreenwich and WoolwichLab (minister)aye
Andy ReedLoughboroughLabaye
John ReidHamilton North and BellshillLab (minister)aye
Mrs Barbara RocheHornsey and Wood GreenLab (minister)aye
Mr Jeff RookerBirmingham, Perry BarrLab (minister)aye
Terry RooneyBradford NorthLabaye
Mr Ernie RossDundee WestLabaye
Frank RoyMotherwell and WishawLabaye
Joan RuddockLewisham, DeptfordLabaye
Christine RussellCity of ChesterLabaye
Martin SalterReading WestLabaye
Mr Malcolm SavidgeAberdeen NorthLabaye
Mr Phil SawfordKetteringLabaye
Mr Brian SedgemoreHackney South and ShoreditchLabaye
Dennis SkinnerBolsoverLab (minister)aye
Andrew SmithOxford EastLab (minister)aye
Angela SmithBasildonLabaye
Jacqui SmithRedditchLab (minister)aye
John SmithVale of GlamorganLabaye
Mr Llew SmithBlaenau GwentLabaye
Mr Peter SnapeWest Bromwich EastLabaye
Mr Clive SoleyEaling, Acton and Shepherd's BushLab (minister)aye
John SpellarWarleyLab (minister)aye
Phyllis StarkeyMilton Keynes South WestLabaye
Mr Gerry SteinbergCity of DurhamLabaye
Mr George StevensonStoke-on-Trent SouthLabaye
Mr David StewartInverness East, Nairn and LochaberLabaye
Mr Paul StinchcombeWellingboroughLabaye
Howard StoateDartfordLabaye
Gavin StrangEdinburgh East and MusselburghLabaye
Jack StrawBlackburnLab (minister)aye
Gisela StuartBirmingham, EdgbastonLab (minister)aye
Gerry SutcliffeBradford SouthLab (minister)tellaye
Mrs Ann TaylorDewsburyLab (minister)aye
Dari TaylorStockton SouthLabaye
David TaylorNorth West LeicestershireLabaye
Mr Peter Temple-MorrisLeominsterwhilst Labaye
Mr Gareth ThomasClwyd WestLabaye
Paddy TippingSherwoodLab (minister)aye
Mark ToddSouth DerbyshireLabaye
Don TouhigIslwynLab (minister)aye
Mr Dennis TurnerWolverhampton South EastLab (minister)aye
Desmond TurnerBrighton, KemptownLabaye
Dr George TurnerNorth West NorfolkLabaye
Derek TwiggHaltonLabaye
Mr Bill TynanHamilton SouthLabaye
Claire WardWatfordLabaye
Robert WareingLiverpool, West DerbyLabaye
Alan WhiteheadSouthampton, TestLabaye
Dr Alan WilliamsCarmarthen East and DinefwrLabaye
Alan WilliamsSwansea WestLabaye
Betty WilliamsConwyLabaye
Michael WillsNorth SwindonLab (minister)aye
David WinnickWalsall NorthLab (minister)aye
Mike WoodBatley and SpenLabaye
Shaun WoodwardWitneywhilst Labaye
Anthony D WrightGreat YarmouthLabaye
Tony WrightCannock ChaseLabaye
Mr Richard AllanSheffield, HallamLDem (front bench)no
Norman BakerLewesLDem (front bench)no
Mrs Jackie BallardTauntonLDemno
Alan BeithBerwick-upon-TweedLDem (front bench)no
Tom BrakeCarshalton and WallingtonLDem (front bench)no
Colin BreedSouth East CornwallLDemno
Mr John BurnettTorridge and West DevonLDemno
Vincent CableTwickenhamLDem (front bench)no
Menzies CampbellNorth East FifeLDem (front bench)no
Edward DaveyKingston and SurbitonLDem (front bench)no
Mr Ronnie FearnSouthportLDem (front bench)no
Don FosterBathLDem (front bench)no
Mike HancockPortsmouth SouthLDem (front bench)no
Nick HarveyNorth DevonLDem (front bench)no
David HeathSomerton and FromeLDem (front bench)tellno
Mr Archy KirkwoodRoxburgh and BerwickshireLDem (front bench)no
Mr Robert MaclennanCaithness, Sutherland and Easter RossLDemno
Mrs Ray MichieArgyll and ButeLDemno
Michael MooreTweeddale, Ettrick and LauderdaleLDem (front bench)no
Mark OatenWinchesterLDemno
Lembit ÖpikMontgomeryshireLDemno
Bob RussellColchesterLDem (front bench)no
Adrian SandersTorbayLDem (front bench)no
Robert SmithWest Aberdeenshire and KincardineLDem (front bench)no
Andrew StunellHazel GroveLDem (front bench)tellno
Matthew TaylorTruro and St AustellLDemno
Dr Jenny TongeRichmond ParkLDemno
Mr Paul TylerNorth CornwallLDem (front bench)no
Phil WillisHarrogate and KnaresboroughLDem (front bench)no
Mr Simon ThomasCeredigionPCno
Alasdair MorganGalloway and Upper NithsdaleSNPno
Mr Roy BeggsEast AntrimUUPno

About the Project

The Public Whip is a not-for-profit, open source website created in 2003 by Francis Irving and Julian Todd and now run by Bairwell Ltd.

There are lots of plans afoot, including extensive redevelopment of the site and plans for new functionality. To keep up with what's happening, please check out the blog. We're working on updating all the contact details throughout the site, but if you'd like to talk to us about the project, please email [email protected]

The Whip on the Web

Advertisement - Helping keeping PublicWhip alive