§ The Earl of Arran rose to move, That the draft order laid before the House on 10th March be approved.
§ The noble Earl said: The Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 and the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992, which consolidated Northern Ireland social security law, came into force on 1st July 1992. Inadvertently three provisions, repealed in consequence of the consolidations, were omitted from the consolidating Acts. The purpose of this order, which is short, containing only three articles, and made under paragraph 1(4) (a) of Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland Act 1974, is to restore the statute book to its pre-consolidation position. I very much hope that your Lordships will support this order. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the draft order laid before the House on 10th March be approved.—(The Earl of Arran.)
§ Lord Prys-Davies
My Lords, again I thank the Minister for his explanation of this very brief order. We accept the explanation; namely, that the order provides for three detailed provisions which were inadvertently left out of the consolidation orders. I am sure that the Minister can give me an assurance that these provisions do not effect any change in the substantive law as it stood prior to the consolidation order. If that is the case, then I do not believe that we should be concerned that they appear to be in breach of the principle of no retrospective legislation. That is a principle which the House rightly holds dear. Therefore, on that assumption on which I am sure that the noble Earl can be reassuring, we fully support the order.
§ The Earl of Arran
My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Prys-Davies, for his understanding remarks concerning this particular order. I can give him the assurance which he seeks that there is no substantive change.
§ House adjourned at seven minutes before nine o'clock.