Pensions Bill (Programme) (No. 3)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:47 pm on 18th May 2004.

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Photo of Malcolm Wicks Malcolm Wicks Minister for pensions, Department for Work and Pensions 12:47 pm, 18th May 2004

Yes, the English is poor. The exception is that Government new clause 34 will be taken tomorrow, together with amendments to it. That will be followed by new clauses and amendments that relate to the pension protection fund. The Government are fully aware that many hon. Members will want to join in the discussion of this new clause and the remaining business on the PPF. For this reason we believe it is important to set aside a reasonable amount of time for consideration of the subject and so have added a further day's debate for this important new measure. I trust that hon. Members in all parts of the House will welcome the opportunity to support the Government's new proposals in this crucial area. We will conclude our business and any remaining amendments on Thursday, before moving to Third Reading on Thursday afternoon.

Throughout our deliberations in Standing Committee we have had constructive debate on all the issues, and I am grateful to the hon. Members for Eastbourne (Mr. Waterson) and for Northavon (Mr. Webb) for their co-operation—I hope that I can still say that in three days' time. They sought assurances that the timetable would allow sufficient time to discuss new clauses and amendments on Report, and I hope they agree that the Government have paid heed to their requests by providing the extra time.

I do not want to use up valuable time by debating this motion for longer than is necessary, because it seems more sensible and productive to spend our time discussing the real issues of concern to the House.