New Clause 17 - Premium Bonds

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 24th June 2004.

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Photo of Steve Pound Steve Pound Labour, Ealing North 10:30 am, 24th June 2004

I support what the hon. Gentleman says, as there are concerns across the House on this issue. He quoted the late Sir Harold Wilson, and the late Baroness Thatcher was equally concerned about the issue—[Hon. Members: ''She is not late.'']—Sorry, the former Member of this House who is now Baroness Thatcher, with whom I

entirely agreed on this subject. I agreed with her on only one other occasion, and that was with her opinion of the Conservative Cabinet at a particular time.

The hon. Member for Chichester mentioned the lottery, and I am concerned that avaricious eyes are being cast at premium bonds, which are a successful mechanism and are widely supported, going with the grain of the nation—there are none of the problems of aggressive selling or the difficulties associated with the lottery. Like many people, I am concerned that the integrity of premium bonds should remain unchallenged. I look with confidence to the Minister for assurance; perhaps she could underscore the fact this is a cross-party concern.

I apologise for killing the former Prime Minister.