Hanson and Rooker at odds over rates cap?

Looks like “Trouble at NIO Mill”? It seems there is some confusion over the Government’s rates capping strategy. Gonzo accurately picked up what the MSM were reporting and then went on to accuse the Tories of not pushing the issue far enough. But as Julian Robertson notes on that thread, there was a deal brokered by the Tories with Lord Rooker (on behalf of the government) that the rate capping would be kept subject to parliamentary process effectively removing it as a St Andrews side deal:

“I am therefore prepared to recommend to my noble friends that we accept entirely the noble Lord’s amendment and attach it to the government Motion. Therefore, the Motion would contain not only my words—one normally says, “Believe the Minister because it is in Hansard”. If we put the Motion as amended to the House, it will become part of the parliamentary process and that will be the Motion which the House passes. It calls quite specifically for a cap. It states that we have to work with the political parties in Northern Ireland and find more money for pensioners at the margin. On that basis, I commend my Motion, with the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Glentoran, attached to it word for word, to the House”

Hmmm… That seems clear. The confusion in the media arises, Slugger understands, from some vigorous counter-briefing of the BBC from a very senior government figure, after they originally let the cat out of the bag on Tuesday evening.

So, in fact, which is rate capping to be subject to? Rooker’s Lords Agreement or the St Andrews Agreement?

  • Elvis Parker

    Parliament wins over proposed all party agreements Mick. Civil servants must follow Parliament before Minister.
    Question is why have our local ‘mainstream media’ given up on this story? Indeed BBC website is still carrying inaccurate Govt story.

    There is clearly something up here with a difference between Rooker and Hanson. Anywhere else the media would chase this story but here they all move on to writing up the next NIO story handed to them.

    Billy Graham?
    Stephen Dempster?
    Noel McAdam?
    Chris Thornton?
    Gareth Gordon?
    Mark Devenport?
    Martina Purdy?

    Hang your heads in shame

  • Ian

    “Parliament wins over proposed all party agreements Mick. Civil servants must follow Parliament before Minister.”

    But it wasn’t passed like that in the Commons. Surely the Commons takes precedent over the Lords?

    The motion as passed approved the order, “but this House [the Lords] calls upon the Government to” introduce the rates cap etc… This is the expressed opinion of the Lords, but does not purport to speak on behalf of the Commons, which has not called upon the Government to do any such thing.

    So when the civil servants come to implement the new rates system, they have two conflicting sets of proposals from the two houses of Parliament.

    What is the legal status of the Lords’ “calling upon the Government” to do something, in contradiction to the will of the Commons?

    [I’ve checked Hansard and the order doesn’t appear to have been passed back to the Commons to approve the amendment, and the session of Parliament finished yesterday.]

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Good question Ian, though I should add that the motion in question was government backed.

  • Mick Fealty

    I understand that Orders in Council don’t get referred back down to the Commons. Once the Lords have their say, that’s it. Northern Ireland has to lump it.