Freedom of Information (Amendment)
Matthew Hancock (West Suffolk, Conservative)
It is always dangerous to give way to my hon. Friend, because she usually puts the point far more lucidly than one could oneself.
I was going to come on precisely to that point-my second point about fairness. Not only is it fair to deal with the deficit and, I think, unfair to give enormous payouts when we have to achieve other very difficult things, but fairness across the economy and across society is also important. The maximum payout in the mandatory private sector compensation scheme, for which this House legislated, is £11,400, yet the proposal is nowhere near that figure within the public sector.
It was interesting to note that when the shadow Minister, Tessa Jowell, responded to an intervention about whether it was fair to have a similar sort of payoff scheme in the private sector as in the public sector, she effectively said that she was not in favour of equality. I thought that Labour Members were in favour of equality, but obviously not when it does not suit.