Other ways to influence policy
This 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. There are many other ways you can engage with Parliament and Government on legislation.
Public Bill Committee
A Public Bill Committee is a committee set up by the House of Commons to consider the details of a particular Bill. All Bills, other than Money Bills, are automatically sent to a Public Bill Committee following their second reading unless they are committed to a committee of the Whole House.
Public Bill Committees only last for the duration of the Bill concerned. The composition of the committees must match the size of the parties in the House. If a party has 60% of the seats in the Commons then the party will have 60% of the membership of the Public Bill Committee.
Public Bill Committees can, like a Select Committee, take oral and written evidence as part of its scrutiny of the Bill. You can find out more about Public Bill Committees, including how you can submit your own written evidence.
Your Member of Parliament can raise issues on your behalf relating to this bill, or any other aspect of the work of Government. You can use this service to find out who your MP is.
e-Petitions are an easy, personal way for you to influence government and Parliament in the UK. You can create an e-petition about anything that the government is responsible for and if it gets at least 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in the House of Commons. You can find more information on the e-petitions website at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk and about how the House of Commons deals with e-petitions on the Backbench Business Committee website at www.parliament.uk/bbcom
You can get involved in government by taking part in a public consultation. When government departments change or make policy they listen to your views via a consultation. You can read the consultation paper about what government wants to do or change and then send your thoughts back.
Consultations have a number of specific benefits; they:
- allow government to tap the widest source of information possible and thus improves the quality of the decision reached
- alert policy makers to any concerns and issues not picked up through existing evidence or research
- help to monitor existing policy and determine whether changes are needed
The Government held a consultation on the policy within the Small Charitable Donations Bill. The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme consultation invited comments from all charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs that make claims under Gift Aid and receive small donations of cash, particularly smaller charities, and their agents, advisers, nominees and representative bodies. The results of this consultation helped to shape the final text of the Bill as published. You can view a summary of the responses received.
You can find out what government is consulting on via Directgov.
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