Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Twenty-Sixth Report



Memorandum by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

This memorandum explains the proposed use of powers to make delegated legislation in the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill.

Provision for delegated legislation in the Bill and its purpose

Subsection 5(1) imposes a duty on the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (the Minister) and enables the National Assembly for Wales by order to make a scheme for paying compensation to persons who incur losses as a result of ceasing fur farming businesses because of the enactment or coming into force of the prohibition on fur farming in clause 1. The power delegated to the National Assembly for Wales is discretionary because there are at present no known fur farmers in Wales.

Reason for proposing delegated powers

It is proposed that the compensation scheme (which is likely to be very detailed) be contained in delegated legislation because this will allow flexibility to respond to the consultation which is required under clause 5(3) of the Bill in a way that meets the circumstances of affected fur farmers. Following enactment of the Bill, it is proposed that the Minister will be assisted in drawing up the details of the scheme by independent assessors who will visit fur farmers and report to the Minister on their findings.

Proposed procedure

It is proposed that the power to make an order under clause 5(1) be exercisable, in the case of an order made by the Minister, in the form of an order made by statutory instrument, subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, indicated on a number of occasions during the passage of the Bill through the House of Commons what matters might be considered for inclusion in a compensation scheme subject of course to the views of respondents to the consultation (see for example Commons Hansard 15 May 2000 column 45). In addition to the requirement for consultation, clause 5 also contains provision enabling disputes about compensation to be referred to arbitration or to the Lands Tribunal. For these reasons, it was felt that the proposed procedure was appropriate.

There are no known fur farmers in Wales and it is not therefore envisaged that a compensation scheme will be made. A Scheme made by the National Assembly for Wales would be made in accordance with the procedures for subordinate legislation of the National Assembly set out in sections 64 to 68 of the Government of Wales Act 1998 and the Standing Orders of the National Assembly. Except in a case to which section 67 (disapplication of procedural requirements) applies, these procedures require both a cost benefit analysis and affirmative resolution by the National Assembly of the proposed Scheme after plenary debate.

This memorandum has been agreed with the National Assembly for Wales.

13 July 2000

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