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About the Public Reading Stage

What is the Public Reading Stage?

The Coalition Agreement committed the Government to introducing “a new ‘public reading stage’ for bills to give the public an opportunity to comment on proposed legislation online.”

This website is a pilot of the Public Reading stage, designed to seek comments on the Small Charitable Donations Bill.  The comments that are provided will be collated and considered by the Government department responsible for the Bill (HM Treasury) and then collated into a report that will be presented to the House of Commons to influence debate in Public Bill Committee, and beyond.

How does it work?

You can find out more about how Parliament makes laws on the UK Parliament website.   Public Reading Stage takes place between the First Reading (when the text of the Bill is published) and the Committee Stage (where MPs consider the Bill in detail on a clause-by-clause basis).

Click to enlarge the timeline below

This Public Reading Stage is being undertaken as a pilot.  In order to fully evaluate the effectiveness of this process and to take account of the Summer Parliamentary Recess, the timescales have been extended.

How can I comment?

The Bill has already been subject to consultation on the policy behind it, before it was published.  The Public Reading Stage has been introduced to allow people to comment on specific aspects of the Bill, such as the way that the law has been drafted or to raise policy concerns about specific clauses of the Bill.

Once you have commented on the site, officials working on the Bill will read all the comments and collate them into a report that will be published and presented to the MPs who take part in the Committee Stage of the Bill, in order to encourage debate on the issues raised by the public.

Keep Track Of The Bill

The UK Parliament website has a dedicated page for each piece of legislation introduced this session.  The Small Charitable Donations Bill can be found at http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2012-13/smallcharitabledonations.html