The severely compressed parliamentary agenda for today and tomorrow (details here) means that the Government has been forced to drop a variety of measures which it realised it would struggle to get through due to opposition from the Conservatives and others.
The BBC suggests that so far we know that the following have been dropped:
- The 10% rise in cider tax – it came into force at the end of last month but will now expire on 30th June;
- A 50p monthly levy on landline phone bills to pay for the universal roll-out of
broadband, which was due to be introduced in October;
- A tax on holiday rental homes;
- Legislation to
drive down fees charged by libel lawyers;
- A referendum on the voting system;
- Phasing out the remaining
hereditary peers from the House of Lords.
The Conservatives have today blocked a number of contentious aspects of Ed Balls' Children, Schools and Families Bill. The sections which the party has stopped would have:
- denied parents the final say over the sex education of their child;
- created additional bureaucracy for teachers with additional tick box exercises;
- replaced league tables with a school report card;
- introduced the "Licence to teach", a a Big Brother restriction on teachers;
- introduced draconian proposals relating to the registration and monitoring of home-educated children.
Meanwhile, Chris Grayling has released the following statement explaining that the Conservatives will not seek to block the Crime and Security Bill because the indefinite retention of innocent people's DNA has already been ruled illegal:
“DNA data provides a useful tool for solving crimes. A Conservative Government will legislate in the first session in order to make sure that our DNA database will only include permanent records of people who are guilty instead of those who are innocent and to go further than the Government to help fight crime. We will collect the DNA of all existing prisoners, those on probation, on licence from prison, or under the supervision of the criminal justice system, which Labour have failed to do.
“We successfully pushed the Government to end the permanent retention of innocent people's DNA and we will change the guidance on taking office to give people on the database who have been wrongly accused of a minor crime an automatic right to have their DNA withdrawn."