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Backbench Business Committee confirms topics for Estimates Day debates

25 June 2020

The Backbench Business Committee has confirmed the topics for the Main Estimates Day debates.

The Backbench Business Committee met on Tuesday 23 June to hear representations from Members who had submitted applications for debate. Following the meeting, the Committee recommended that the following debates should be heard by the House:

  • For the Department for Education, so far as it relates to closing the disadvantage gap and support for left behind children (on the application of Robert Halfon)
  • For HM Revenue and Customs, so far as it relates to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and support for the self-employed through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (on the application of Mel Stride)
  • For the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (on the application of Darren Jones)
  • For the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, so far as they relate to Official Development Assistance (on the application of Sarah Champion, Tom Tugendhat, Darren Jones and Yvette Cooper)
  • For the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (on the application of Mr Clive Betts and Meg Hillier)

The Main Supply Estimates for 2020-21 have been published and it is expected that there will be two days of debate in the Chamber, taking place no later than August 5th 2020.

What is an Estimates Day debate?

The House of Commons sets aside three Estimates Days each year on which to consider the estimates of public spending by government departments. Following applications from Members, the Backbench Business Committee proposes the subjects to the Liaison Committee, which formally recommends them to the House.

Usually the subject of a recent report by a departmental select committee is chosen, which in turn relates to a particular estimate.

Two estimates days take place in the summer to consider the Main Estimates, with one taking place in the spring for the Supplementary Estimates.

An estimate selected for debate can be amended, but only reductions to the estimate can be proposed. Amendments to increase spending are not allowed.

Once the estimates have been agreed, they're put into legislative form through a Supply and Appropriation Bill.

Further information on the Main Estimates – the Government spending plans for 2020-21 - can be found in this Commons Library briefing.

Further information

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