All 1 Lindsay Hoyle contributions to the Subsidy Control Act 2022

Read Bill Ministerial Extracts

Wed 20th Apr 2022
Subsidy Control Bill
Commons Chamber

Consideration of Lords amendments & Consideration of Lords amendments

Subsidy Control Bill

Lindsay Hoyle Excerpts
[Relevant Document: Oral evidence taken before the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee on 30 November 2021 on State Aid and Post-Brexit Competition Policy, HC 742.]
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Financial privilege is not engaged by any of the Lords amendments.

Clause 10

Subsidy schemes and streamlined subsidy schemes

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Lords amendments 2 to 12.

Lords amendment 13, and amendment (a) thereto.

Lords amendments 14 to 51.

Paul Scully Portrait Paul Scully
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Let me begin by expressing my appreciation for the shared ambition, across both Houses, to create a domestic subsidy control regime that will work for people and communities throughout the United Kingdom. The rigorous debate in both Houses has resulted in the improved Bill that is before us today, and I hope that the Government amendments passed by the House of Lords will in turn be accepted by this House.

  I shall start with Lords amendments 13 to 38, 44 to 47 and 51, relating to the topic of transparency. This topic has been well championed in this House by my hon. Friend the Member for Weston-super-Mare (John Penrose), who is no longer in his place. First, in place of the higher transparency thresholds that applied to subsidies given under a published scheme, and given as minimal financial assistance or services of public economic interest assistance, we have introduced a single upload threshold of £100,000, which now applies to all subsidies that are subject to the transparency requirements. Of course, there has never been a threshold for regular stand-alone subsidies, which all need to be published. This represents a substantial 80% reduction from the original threshold of £500,000 for subsidies given under the schemes.

Secondly, we have significantly shortened the upload deadlines; for non-tax subsidy awards, we have halved them from six to three months, so that subsidies will be visible on the database far sooner. The third change is that we have introduced new obligations to upload certain permitted modifications of a subsidy or scheme to the database. Public authorities will now be subject to the same obligations to upload even minor changes, with the same upload deadlines as for the original subsidy. This will ensure that the database continues to provide up-to-date information about subsidies or schemes that are modified after they have been granted. Fourthly, we have placed a duty on the Secretary of State to review the transparency database at such intervals as they consider appropriate, thereby ensuring additional quality control.