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The move will make it harder to amend Philip Hammond’s Budget, Labour has protested [Image: AP].


Never mind the fact that the Tories are systematically blocking the promises made by the ‘Leave’ campaign in the EU referendum (see below) – their refusal to allow debate on amendments to the Budget shows that they really, really hate democracy.

If we weren’t living in a dictatorship before June, we are now.

And the worst aspect of this is that the Conservative Party does not even have a Parliamentary majority. It’s a minority government forcing through all these undemocratic changes (see below, again).

When (if?) we ever see a different party in charge, they should make it a priority to ensure that this can never happen again. Nobody voted for what’s being pushed on us.

Theresa May faces fresh allegations of “rigging Parliament” over a near-unprecedented move to prevent MPs amending the Budget.

Labour has accused the Prime Minister of running scared of an expected attempt to use the Finance Bill to force a vote on scrapping VAT on domestic fuel.

With the Democratic Unionist Party likely to oppose the Government on such a vote, it left her facing a possible embarrassing defeat, the Opposition claimed.

An amendment was expected because – like the notorious £350m-a-week extra for the NHS – zero-rating of fuel was a key plank of the Vote Leave campaign that secured Brexit.

Another likely challenge was over the issue of “period poverty”, with ministers under pressure to agree to put in free sanitary products in schools.

The controversy comes hard-on-the-heels of the row over the Conservatives seizing control of all Commons committees – despite losing their majority at the general election.

Rebellions were only possible [against finance bills] because the Government tabled an “amendment to the law resolution” – allowing amendments outside the narrow scope of measures in the Budget itself.

Following last Wednesday’s Budget, that amendment was not put forward as normal, preventing revolts on wider issues not “in the founding resolutions” of the Budget.

Labour said this had happened only five times since 1929 – but each time had been immediately before, or after, a general election, when a Budget needed to be rushed through.

In contrast, the current Finance Bill is the second of this Parliament, because one was passed immediately after the snap June election.

Source: Theresa May faces fresh accusations of ‘rigging Parliament’ over controversial move to block Budget amendments


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