Part of Consumer Credit Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:25 am on 27 January 2005.

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Photo of Gerry Sutcliffe Gerry Sutcliffe Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Trade and Industry) (Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs) 9:25, 27 January 2005

I understand the consistency with which the hon. Gentleman approaches the issue relating to the powers of the OFT. Amendment No. 46 would severely limit the effectiveness and flexibility of the OFT's power to impose requirements on licensees. It would reduce the considerable protection that goes to the heart of what we are trying to achieve, as the OFT's ability to improve the conduct of licensed business would be curtailed.

The clause refers to associates and former associates of licensees, as well as to the licensees themselves. This is because sometimes a person who is an associate of an unfit person applies for a licence. The definition of associate may be useful: it is found in section 184 of the 1974 Act and means a person's husband or wife, or his relative or their spouse, or a person in partnership with him, or that person's spouse.