Local Government Bill
The Earl of Caithness (Conservative)
My Lords, I listened with great care to the noble Lord. I have to say to the noble Lord that it is only the Government—not the practitioners, not industry and not businesses—who think that their proposal will be less complicated than the one that I have submitted. Virtually everything the noble Lord said refers to the Government scheme and not to our scheme. Our scheme is more certain for businesses. It is much fairer for businesses. The Government's scheme will certainly cause mayhem. As a chartered surveyor I would say to the Government, "Thank you very much". Many of my colleagues will make a huge amount of money out of this by advising businesses. I want to do them out of some of that money. I want to make the scheme simpler, more straightforward and more transparent. I want to get rid of the uncertainty that the Government are creating.
The noble Lord said that the general taxpayer should not contribute. Overall, I totally agree. The general taxpayer will not contribute under my scheme. By the end of the five-year period, all the money, together with interest and inflation, will be reclaimed by the Treasury.
I am very grateful for the support of the noble Baroness, Lady Maddock, and my noble friend Lady Hanham. This is now the occasion to test the opinion of the House.