Consideration of Lords amendments to Postal Services Bill

10 June 2011

The House of Commons considered Lords Amendments to the Postal Services Bill on Thursday 9 June.

Lords amendments to Postal Services Bill

MPs considered amendments made to the Postal Services Bill by the House of Lords. The amendments relate to the restructuring of the Royal Mail Group and the regulation of postal services.

Lords Amendments 1-28 were agreed to without a division. The Bill will now await Royal Assent.

Watch and read the views expressed by MPs on Parliament TV and in Commons Hansard.

Summary of the Postal Services Bill

The Bill's provisions are divided into four main parts.

Part 1 provides for the restructuring of Royal Mail, including the introduction of private sector capital and expertise from the sale of up to 90 per cent of Royal Mail, an employee share scheme and provisions for Post Office Ltd to continue to be owned by the Crown or a mutual ownership structure.

Part 2 deals with the Royal Mail’s pension deficit by transferring the historic liabilities of the scheme to the Government.

Part 3 makes provisions for the regulatory arrangements for postal services through the transfer of powers from Postcomm to Ofcom.

Part 4 contains provisions for a “special administrative regime” should the universal postal service be at risk from the provider entering insolvency proceedings.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documents on the Postal Services Bill and find out how a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

Consideration of amendments

When a Bill has passed through third reading in both Houses it is returned to the first House (where it started) for the second House's amendments (proposals for change) to be considered.

Both Houses must agree on the exact wording of the Bill.

There is no set time period between the third reading of a Bill and consideration of any Commons or Lords amendments.

Ping Pong

If the Commons makes amendments to the Bill, the Lords must consider them and either agree or disagree to the amendments or make alternative proposals.

If the Lords disagrees with any Commons amendments, or makes alternative proposals, then the Bill is sent back to the Commons.

A Bill may go back and forth between each House (‘Ping Pong’) until both Houses reach agreement.

What happens after consideration of amendments?

Once the Commons and Lords agree on the final version of the Bill, it can receive Royal Assent and become an Act of Parliament (the proposals of the Bill now become law).

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