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On Thursday 17 May 2018, the House gave leave for an Emergency Debate (under Standing Order No 24) on the expectation that the Government table a money resolution relating to a private Member’s bill that has received a second reading, to allow debate in public bill committee (PBC).

Before this application, Afzal Khan, the Member in charge of the Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill 2017-19, raised concerns about the Government’s decision not to bring forward a money resolution to his Bill. He did so in a point of order, following the PBC’s first meeting, on 9 May 2018; and he was granted an Urgent Question on the issue on 10 May. The PBC has met twice since but been unable to proceed with its consideration of the Bill.

In response to his point of order, Mr Khan was told that “When to bring forward a money resolution is in the hands of the Government”. In responding to the Urgent Question, the Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom, reiterated a comment she had made when questioned about a money resolution for another PMB, that “Discussions are carrying on through the usual channels and money resolutions will be brought forward on a case-by-case basis as soon as possible”.

In the last Parliament, a Minister stated that that “once the House has given a private Member’s Bill a Second Reading, the convention is that the Government, even when they robustly oppose it, always table a money resolution”.

The main objective of a PMB cannot be to create a charge by way of taxation or expenditure. If it requires any spending, a money resolution must be agreed by the House before it (or the provisions giving rise to spending within it) can be considered in committee. Such a resolution would need to be initiated by the Government, in line with its exclusive right to initiate proposals for expenditure.

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