MPs debate housing benefit legislation and flooding

26 February 2014

MPs took part in debates on a statutory instrument relating to housing benefit legislation and on the recent flooding in the UK on Wednesday 26 February 2014, in the House of Commons. The subjects for debate were chosen by the Opposition

Debate on Housing Benefit (Transitional Provisions) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I.,2014. No. 212)

Motion for debate

"That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Housing Benefit (Transitional Provisions) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I., 2014, No. 212), dated 4 February 2014, a copy of which was laid before this House on 5 February, be annulled."

The debate was moved by Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Rachel Reeves. The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, responded on behalf of the Government.

The Opposition motion was negatived on division (Ayes 253 votes, Noes 304 votes, Division No.214).

Debate on Flooding

Motion for debate

"That this House notes the recent severe weather which has caused widespread and distressing flooding of homes, businesses and farmland; praises the work of communities, the Environment Agency, the Armed Forces, the emergency services and local councils in assisting those affected; calls on the insurance industry to ensure pay-outs are made as quickly as possible; recognises that continued support will be needed for the communities and businesses affected in the months ahead as homes and infrastructure are repaired; acknowledges the clear scientific evidence that climate change is contributing to the increased frequency of severe weather and the consequent risk of flooding; notes the advice from the Committee on Climate Change that current and planned levels of investment are insufficient to manage future flood risk given the increased threat from climate change; calls for further reports on the implementation of the recommendations contained in Sir Michael Pitt’s report into the 2007 floods to be made to Parliament; and supports cross-party talks on the impact of climate change and the funding and policy decisions necessary to mitigate the consequences of more frequent severe weather on communities and the economy."

The debate was moved by Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Maria Eagle. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Mr Eric Pickles, responded on behalf of the Government.

The Opposition motion was agreed to without division.

Related information

What is a statutory instrument?

Statutory Instruments, also known as SIs, are a form of legislation which allow the provisions of an Act of Parliament to be subsequently brought into force or altered without Parliament having to pass a new Act. They are also referred to as secondary or delegated legislation.

Delegated or secondary legislation is usually concerned with detailed changes to the law made under powers from an existing Act of Parliament.

About Opposition day debates

Opposition days are days allocated in the House of Commons in each session for the discussion of subjects chosen by the Opposition.

Seventeen days are at the disposal of the Leader of the Opposition, the leader of the largest opposition party, to decide which matters are debated. Three days are usually divided between the other opposition parties.

The Opposition generally use them to raise questions of policy and administration. Frequently, two separate subjects are debated on an opposition day.

Watching Opposition day debates from the public gallery

UK residents and overseas visitors can watch proceedings in the House of Commons by visiting the public gallery.

This article was produced by the Commons Digital Outreach Team. Follow the @HouseofCommons on Twitter for updates on the UK House of Commons Chamber.

Image: PA

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