Equalisation Payments to Be Made to Certain Water Authorities

Part of Orders of the Day — Water Charges Equalisation Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th March 1977.

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Photo of Mr Denis Howell Mr Denis Howell , Birmingham Small Heath 12:00 am, 16th March 1977

I am certainly dealing with what is in the Bill, Mr. Deputy Speaker, or at least with the points which have been made on Third Reading. I am dealing with each point which has been made. I shall conclude this part of my argument quickly.

If the kind of thinking that we have heard from the hon. Member for Merioneth were carried to its logical conclusion and got the reaction that I predicted, it would deny Wales massive investment and rateable value which the water industry provides for the Principality. It is important to put that on record.

This modest Bill has been exhaustively examined. It is interesting that it came unscathed from the Committee and was reported to the House unamended. Despite the fact that it was an extremely involved Bill, its provisions were found on examination to be sound and unassailable. The Bill may have to be amended elsewhere in accordance with the guarantees that I have given. If so, we shall no doubt have a further opportunity to discuss the Bill when it comes back to this House on its final course.

I commend the Bill to the House. It represents simple equity and justice which the imposition of the provisions of the Water Act on a large number of people in this country certainly justify.