The Future Generations Bill has begun its journey through the House of Lords once again after Lord John Bird gave his private member’s bill its first reading on Wednesday.
The Big Issue founder’s proposed legislation was originally introduced to Parliament on October 21 last year by Green peer Baroness Jenny Jones, but the bill was forced to go back to square one after the general election ended the parliamentary session.
Crossbench peer Lord Bird was in the Lords on Wednesday to reintroduce the Future Generations Bill, which is one of the 20 ballot bills at the top of the pile in the Lords after it was drawn fourth in the private member’s bill ballot on December 20. Meanwhile, in the Commons ballot, Labour pair Anna McMorrin and Kate Osamor as well as the SNP’s Dr Philippa Whitford and Conservative MP Simon Fell featured in the top 20 spots.
Our #TodayForTomorrow campaign kicks off in Parliament as @johnbirdswords introduces the Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill in the @UKHouseofLords today – find how what we're calling for, and how you can get involved https://t.co/ErrB2bLMNUhttps://t.co/bY5ezV7XGu
— Today For Tomorrow (@today4tmrrw) January 8, 2020
Addressing the Lords at the first reading, Lord Bird said: “I beg to introduce a bill to make provision for requiring public bodies to act in pursuit of the United Kingdom’s environmental, social, economic wellbeing by meeting wellbeing objectives. I beg that this bill be read a first time.”
If it passes into law, the Future Generations Bill aims to ensure that the decisions made by public bodies, including government departments, in the present take into account the impact on wellbeing for the generations that follow. It would require the creation of a UK-wide Future Generations Commissioner to scrutinise decisions and policies to ensure that their future effects are not overlooked, inspired by the existing Welsh act. In addition, the legislation will require a joint-parliamentary committee to be setup on future generations.