Clause 11 - Citation

Part of Age-Related Payments Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 25 May 2004.

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Photo of Nigel Waterson Nigel Waterson Shadow Minister, Economic Affairs 3:15, 25 May 2004

It would not be right to let the Bill's relatively short passage through Committee not be marked by a return to the central criticism that many of us made on Second Reading and earlier today. It is misleading to call this legislation the Age-Related Payments Act; it should be the election-related payments Act.

Although it might have failed miserably in its intent, the Bill is clearly designed to buy off trouble over council tax increases, which are in large measure a result of Government action or policy, and to try to get them out of a hole on 10 June. I do not think that it will win them a single extra vote; it will just cost £500 million. We do not begrudge £100 to the over-70s, whether they need it or not. I hope that those who get it make good use of it. It is only a pity that they will not get it until eight months after they need it. On that basis, I have serious reservations about whether it is in order for this to be called the Age-Related Payments Act rather than the election-related payments Act.