Owen Williams, Lords Press Officer, Tel 020 7219 8659.
HOME INFORMATION PACKS - PARLIAMENT MUST HAVE OPPORTUNITY TO DEBATE FURTHER IMPLEMENTATION PHASES
After revoking the original Regulations on Home Information Packs (HIPs), the Government now propose to introduce HIPs in three phases: homes with four bedrooms (from 1 August 2007); homes with three bedrooms; and all other homes.
In considering the revised HIPs Regulations, the Merits Committee welcomed the Government's action in laying them in good time to allow Parliamentary scrutiny before the first phase. Because each implementation phase will be activated by a commencement order - an instrument that is not subject to Parliamentary scrutiny - the Committee has recommended that Parliament be kept informed and enabled to debate progress.
The Government revoked the previous Regulations - which would have applied HIPs to the sale of all residential properties from 1 June 2007 - in response to concerns expressed both in and outside Parliament. In bringing forward revised proposals the Government have said that they will continue to consult stakeholders: the Committee hopes that this process will generate greater consensus on how best to take the policy forward.
Therefore, the Committee has urged the Government to report to Parliament on experience gained in each phase, and to allow further opportunities for debate before extending HIP duties to other properties.
Notes to Editors
1.The Committee's 24th report of the current session is published by The Stationery Office as HL Paper 129. It deals with the Home Information Pack (No. 2) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/1667) and the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/1669). The report is available online at: http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/merits.cfm
2. The House of Lords Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee was established in 2003 and began work in April 2004. Its task is to examine each statutory instrument presented to the House and to draw attention to any which deal with matters of significant public policy interest or show defects in certain areas. The Committee's Reports are intended to inform the scrutiny process of the House of Lords, without seeking to determine what view the House will finally take of individual instruments.
3.The current members of the Merits Committee are :
Lord Filkin (Chairman)
Baroness Adams of Craigielea
Lord Armstrong of Ilminster
Viscount Colville of Culross
Lord James of Blackheath
Baroness Thomas of Winchester
For copies of the report please contact Owen Williams, Lords Press Officer, on 020 7219 8659.