It is a pleasure to be here this afternoon for Report stage and Third Reading, and I do not think I can quite do justice to the excitement and delight that I felt when I saw that the final stages were indeed to be taken straight after the autumn statement. I am sure that is a view shared by the Minister, who will also be grateful for this miraculous feat of scheduling. Given the vast numbers who have turned out to hear us this afternoon, the excitement is obviously broadly shared across the House.
This is a serious Bill, however, and we have serious matters to discuss this afternoon, so I will now turn to the content of new clauses 1 and 2. There is a certain symmetry to the scheduling of today’s proceedings, because the reforms in the Bill were first announced in the Budget statement and we are now discussing the Bill’s final stages alongside the autumn statement. We should be impressed—if that is the right word—by the speed with which the Government have rushed through these very significant pension reforms, although, given that we will now rush through something else even more quickly as a result of the autumn statement, perhaps I should have waited to hear that statement before writing that line in my script for this debate.