Andrew Selous (Shadow Minister, Work & Pensions; South West Bedfordshire, Conservative)
Amendment No. 24 is fairly straightforward, in that it seeks to put the jobholder back in the position he or she would have been in if contributions had been made at the correct time by the employer in the first place. Obviously, there is a time value to money. Having a contribution today is more valuable than having that contribution in a month or three months’ time. By adding (g) to the end of the list of requirements in subsection (5), we seek to ensure that late contributions have the same financial value to the jobholder as contributions made at the correct time. The omission of that provision strikes me as slightly surprising in relation to clause 30. No doubt the Minister will shortly tell me there was a very good reason for it being left out.
I see where the hon. Member for Rochdale is coming from with amendment No. 96, which I know he will speak shortly. Confusingly, it relates to clause 31, although we are also speaking to clause 30. I think he has the same objective that I do, which is to put the jobholder back in the position that he or she would have been in had the contributions been made on time. I would just query the figure of 5 per cent. in amendment No. 96, because it is of course possible that interest rates could be significantly higher, and putting a figure in the Bill may not put the jobholder back in the position he or she would have been in, depending on financial circumstances at the time.