Utilities Bill — Objectives and duties under 1986 Act — 27 Jul 2000

John Prescott MP, Kingston upon Hull East did not vote.

Lords amendments considered.

Lords amendment: No. 1, in page 2, line 3, leave out from ("Directors")") to ("are") in line 4

I beg to move, That this House agrees with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

With this it will be convenient to discuss Lords amendments Nos. 2, 3, 36 to 50, 52 to 54, 150 to 158, 174, 187, 206 to 212, 221, 225, 226 and 245.

Information relating to a particular individual or body may be included in a report to be published under section (5)(b) if--

(a) that individual or body has consented to the publication;

(b) it is information that is available to the public from some other source; or

(c) it is not information the publication of which would or might, in the opinion of the Council, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of that individual or body.

it is not information the publication of which would or might, in the opinion of the Council, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of that individual or body.

in the opinion of the Council

Lords amendment agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 2 and 3 agreed to.

Lords amendment: No. 4, in page 4, line 17, leave out from ("matter") to end of line 20 and insert

("which relates to the affairs of a particular individual or body of persons (corporate or unincorporate), where publication of that matter would or might, in the opinion of the Authority, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of that individual or body.")

I beg to move, That this House agrees with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

With this it will be convenient to discuss Lords amendments Nos. 5 to 7, 18 to 35, 51, 97, 107, 132 to 137, 141, 143, 168, 178, 180, 197, 227 and 239.

Information which . . . has been obtained . . . by virtue of the provisions and . . . relates to the affairs of any individual or to any particular business--

shall not be disclosed during the lifetime of the individual or so long as the business continues to be carried on, except as provided below.

so long as the business continues to be carried on

as long as the business continues to be carried on.

Subsection (1) does not apply to a disclosure made with the consent of the individual or the person for the time being carrying on the business.

it is made for the purpose of facilitating the performance--

is required by a notice under section 38(1A).

it is made by one licence holder to another and is required by that other licence holder for purposes connected with the carrying on of relevant activities.

in pursuance of a Community obligation.

The persons and bodies specified for the purposes of subsection (4)(a)

a Minister of the Crown.

a local weights and measures authority in Great Britain.

Lords amendment agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 5 to 7 agreed to.

Lords amendment: No. 8, in page 5, line 21, leave out ("or") and insert ("and")

I beg to move, That this House agrees with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

With this it will be convenient to discuss Lords amendments Nos. 9 to 11.

the expenses of the Secretary of State in relation to the establishment of the Authority or the Council.

Any consultation undertaken by the Director General of Gas Supply, the Director General of Electricity Supply or the Secretary of State before the commencement of subsection (6)--

the subsection that refers to the modification of the conditions of a licence and the requirement for consultation--

shall be as effective for the purposes of that subsection as if undertaken by the Authority after that time.

the Authority shall consult the licence holder.

Lords amendment agreed to [Special Entry].

Lords amendments Nos. 9 to 11 agreed to [Some with Special Entry].

Lords amendment: No. 12, in page 6, line 24, at end insert

("or the Utilities Act 2000")

I beg to move, That this House disagrees with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

With this we may consider the following: amendment in lieu thereof, Lords amendments Nos. 13 and 14, 15 and amendment in lieu thereof, and 16, 17, 228, 234, 235 and 241.

The Bill is forward-looking. It sets out a new framework for utilities regulation that is fit and appropriate for the 21st century.

The Bill puts utilities regulation on a sure footing for the 21st century, and is good for consumers, good for competition and good for the utilities.--[ Official Report , 31 January 2000; Vol. 343, c. 795.]

outside of the Conservative party . . . it is barely in issue that prices will rise because of privatisation.

I would have thought that it was . . . virtually impossible that anyone would build a power station and invest hundreds of millions of pounds, unless they received a guarantee covering the capital cost, the fuel cost and, probably . . . the operating costs, too . . . the idea that we will have an influx of power stations, all competing on the grid, is nonsense.--[ Official Report , 12 December 1988; Vol. 143, c. 681-84.]

tries . . . to take us back to the reasons that we have regulation in order to see whether this leads us towards a different vision for the way forward.

Once we accept that regulation is here to stay, we are into the world of how we should use it. This is a classic issue of interventionism in the workings of the economy.

there is still a role for the regulator when the utility sector involved . . . is fully exposed to fierce competition.

His answer was:

As a general rule, my personal view is that regulators are not appropriate in those circumstances, and I should much rather have the discipline of an effective market.--[ Official Report , 31 January 2000; Vol. 343, c. 793.]

will establish an entirely new form of government, the like of which this country has not experienced before: rule by regulator.

the near renationalisation of the gas and power industries.

regulators are being given social and political objectives, which are antithetical to competition. We are witnessing a parallel system of government emerging.

That is socialism by regulation; it is socialism on the sly and it is nationalisation by the back door. I hope that one of our first objectives when we return to government will be to dismantle all the regulatory apparatus, except for that which focuses on competition because competition is the true friend of the consumer.--[ Official Report , 31 January 2000; Vol. 343, c. 828.]

The Bill's enlargement of the scope for discretionary intervention by regulators, politicians and advocates is likely to extract a high price from utility industries, and all consumers will pay it.

mutual ownership . . . leaves big questions as to how the new managers could be kept sharp in pursuit of efficiency.

We are proud that we took the--

industry into public ownership. When we come to power it will be reinstated as a public service for the people of this country, and will not be run for private profit.--[ Official Report , 12 December 1988; Vol. 143, c. 681-84.]

diverse and viable long-term energy supply

we welcome the merging of the electricity and gas regulators . . .--[ Official Report, House of Lords , 4 May 2000; Vol. 612, c.1143.]

That removal could be carried out in as swift and easy a manner as the Minister wished.--[ Official Report, Standing Committee A , 29 February 2000; c. 184.]

The House divided: Ayes 281, Noes 116.

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (Aye)Minority (No)BothTurnout
Con0 116 (+2 tell)073.8%
Lab265 (+2 tell) 0064.2%
LDem13 0027.7%
PC1 0025.0%
SNP2 0033.3%
Total:281 116063.3%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

NameConstituencyPartyVote
no rebellions

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