HC Deb 08 November 1999 vol 337 c722

Lords amendment: No. 131, in page 39, line 43, after ("report") insert ("or determination")

Mr. Raynsford

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 consider Lords amendments Nos. 132 to 138, 635 and 640.

Mr. Raynsford

The amendments, like the previous group—which may explain my confusion—are all minor technical amendments that clarify the duties of the mayor and Assembly in setting the GLA consolidated budget, and amend the Secretary of State's powers in the budget-setting process.

Amendment No. 635 is consequential to an amendment made to clause 29 at Commons Report stage. Clause 29 provides that any function of the authority is exercised by the mayor unless specified otherwise. The amendment clarifies that the duty of preparing the budget is shared between the mayor and Assembly, as set out in schedule 5.

Amendment No. 640 removes the Secretary of State's power to change the date of the last day of February by which the GLA's budget must be finalised. It responds to concerns expressed during the Bill's Committee stage in the other place. The Secretary of State will be able to move the 1 February date by which the mayor must present his or her draft consolidated budget to the Assembly. That will allow the Secretary of State to use his discretion in deciding whether to change the date by which the mayor must present the draft budget to take account of any delay in announcing the local government finance settlement.

Amendments Nos. 131 to 138 ensure that the Secretary of State will be able to set out the amounts of general GLA grant that he considers relate to police and non-police services in the determination in which the total amount of general GLA grant paid is set out. That is necessary because the general GLA grant will be the subject of a determination, not a report, and will therefore not be subject to an affirmative or negative resolution procedure. The other items of income used in the calculations of the basic amount of tax and of the special item are all the subject of a report.

Lords amendment agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 132 to 139 agreed to.

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