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Cost of appeals tribunal a red herring

Philip_davies Philip Davies in support of the new Clause 1 of the Crown Employment (Nationality) Bill argues that we need safeguards to protect people in the eventuality of the Human Rights Act being repealed, and that the cost of an appeals tribunal to monitor this law would be small compared to Government waste and expenditure:

My hon. Friend the Member for Tunbridge Wells mentioned the point about whether it was necessary, given the existence of the Human Rights Act 1998. I know that the hon. Member for Hendon is an enthusiastic supporter of that Act, but—as my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch said—some of us wish to see it repealed. We cannot therefore rely on it to be the safeguard in every eventuality for every piece of legislation. We have to have things in place to protect people when the Act is repealed, as I would like it to be. It is important not to rely on legislation that we do not support, and that we put in place other mechanisms to ensure fair play.

The other objection that my hon. Friend the Member for Tunbridge Wells made was about costs. I understand that entirely, as I would not wish to incur unnecessary public expenditure. However, it is important to have an appeals process and it would not cost a considerable amount in the scheme of Government expenditure. A modest cost for a tribunal that ensures fair play is important.

Edward Leigh: My hon. Friend is being unfair on himself. I suspect that the cost of his proposal would be extremely modest compared with the very large sums lost in inefficiency and waste in even one Department.

Philip Davies: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his intervention. In his role as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, there is no one better in the House at ensuring that money is properly spent. He is absolutely right that any costs incurred by the new clause would be modest in the scheme of Government expenditure. If the Government are so concerned about waste in the public sector, I am sure that there are far better targets with far bigger rewards than this modest tribunal.

We need an appeals tribunal to ensure that the rules are fair. Although the cost objection is understandable, it is a red herring, because the costs would be incredibly modest. I invite the House to support the new clause, despite the reservations expressed, because it would improve the Bill and make it more likely to gain support in both Houses of Parliament.

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