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Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:30 pm on 18th March 2004.

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Photo of Peter Hain Peter Hain Chair, Modernisation of the House of Commons Committee, The Secretary of State for Wales, Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal 12:30 pm, 18th March 2004

It is, in the main, for the Chancellor to respond to that question and establish whether there is scope to explore it further, but I know that my hon. Friend saw the Prime Minister earlier this week to discuss the matter. I also know that every member of the Government, from the Prime Minister down, wants to resolve the situation and is considering all sorts of possible avenues.

The injustice suffered by the ASW workers and others is grievous and terrible: they were robbed of pensions that were deferred wages. The issue has always been how to resolve the situation in a way that allows justice to prevail without a read-across resulting in a potential cost of billions of pounds to the taxpayer from other claims. That is the problem. If a solution can be found, I know that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and the Prime Minister will want to find it.