Clause 9 - Expenses

Home Energy Conservation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 7:49 pm on 26th February 2002.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Mr. Meacher: Perhaps I can help the Committee by saying that we have estimated that the new burden on local authorities of the implementation of the HMO registration provisions of the Bill will be about £13 million, based on an estimated 120,000 HMOs in England. Up to 5,000 HMOs in Wales will be covered and we have estimated that the comparative costs in the Principality will be about £500,000 to £700,000. Those figures follow from our detailed discussions with the Local Government Association about the likely cost of our proposals for implementing a mandatory licensing scheme of HMOs in England and Wales.

Mr. Sayeed: I am glad to support the measure, as I was when we discussed the money resolution on the Floor of the House. We have seen how in Scotland, because money had not been put up front, the costs to landlords have been extraordinarily high—if not extortionate. Such clarification is extremely helpful. I hope that the Minister can confirm that if the Government's estimate is found to be incorrect, either by virtue of it being too small or too great, they will fund the difference if it were greater or claw back if it were not.

Mr. Meacher: I am not sure whether the hon. Gentleman made a rhetorical point. I hear what he says and those who will have responsibility in such matters will, I am sure, also take note.

Question put and agreed to. Clause 10Short title, commencement and extent