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Local Government Finance Bill (Allocation of Time)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:24 pm on 26th January 1987.

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I shall seek, Mr. Speaker, to deal with two points on which the Government have been criticised in Committee. The first criticism is directed at the number and length of Government amendments. I realise that there are difficulties for the House when, particularly on a complex subject, Government amendments are not available early. I have to observe that my right hon. Friend has been ungenerously treated by his critics. On the one hand, he is criticised for having waited to inform the House until after he had confirmed that there was indeed a problem: on the other, it is objected that the Bill has been brought to the House of Commons at a stage when the Government believe that it can still be improved by amendments, rather than being delayed until it is a polished and refined version. Both sets of criticisms cannot be fairly sustained, although in politics they usually are.