Clause 3 - Accrued rights

Part of Armed Forces(Pensions and Compensation) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:00 pm on 10th February 2004.

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Photo of Gerald Howarth Gerald Howarth Shadow Minister (Defence) 5:00 pm, 10th February 2004

The Committee would entirely welcome the Minister's costing the mix and match proposals, if that is what he is offering to do. It would be an interesting exercise. I do not know how one could do it—there are looks of horror on certain faces in the Room because the result could depend on how it was done—but perhaps the Minister and his actuarial advisers could have a stab at seeing how much it might cost to have mix and match proposals.

The amendments are probing. We accept the framework within which the Government are operating. It is cost-neutral, as I said, and I shall revisit that point when we discuss some technical issues. I am prepared to withdraw the amendment, but I want to study what the Minister said about the clause, for which there is no explanatory note, and seek professional advice. Does the hon. Member for Cleethorpes have advice from the Library? I am willing to be assisted if the hon. Lady wants to do so.