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The Fiscal Responsibility Bill passed its remaining Commons stages - Committee of the whole House, Report and Third Reading - on 20 January
The Bill imposes a statutory duty on the Treasury to meet specific targets for reducing government borrowing and debt and gives Parliament a greater role in fiscal policy.
The Bill requires the Treasury to make sure that:
The Bill also requires the Treasury to report to Parliament in the Budget and in Pre-Budget Reports and to provide an explanation if targets are missed.
Committee of the whole House
When a Bill passes its second reading and is considered in detail, this usually takes place in a Public Bill Committee held outside the Chamber. These Committees - which are made up of between 16 and 20 MPs - reflect the political makeup of the House, so the government always has a majority.
But occasionally a Bill will be considered by a Committee of the whole House and this discussion takes place in the Commons Chamber itself, where all MPs can take part.
Any Bill can be referred to a Committee of the whole House, but the procedure is normally reserved for finance Bills and other important or controversial legislation.
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