My Lords, I will not detain the House that long, but I want first to pay tribute to the noble Lord, Lord Best, in particular and to other colleagues for the progress that has been made in discussions with the Minister on this important matter. Some associations would find it difficult to manage properly with such a reduction.
I received two letters this morning. One was from the Minister, the noble Lord, Lord Freud, explaining the policy the Government are now following, which is a welcome change and I thank him for that. I hope it will prove to be a durable, long-term solution to the problem. I also had a letter from the noble Baroness, Lady Williams of Trafford, also dated
As I say, I look forward to hearing the Minister’s reply. I welcome the progress that has been made on this matter, which will be very gratefully received by many people outside your Lordships’ House.