Clause 150

Housing and Regeneration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 29th January 2008.

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Company: arrangements and reconstrjuctions

Photo of Lembit Öpik Lembit Öpik Shadow Minister (Housing), Department for Communities and Local Government

I beg to move amendment No. 82, in clause 150, page 61, line 11, leave out ‘non-profit’.

Photo of Roger Gale Roger Gale Conservative, North Thanet

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments:

No. 83, in clause 151, page 61, line 27, leave out ‘non-profit’.

No. 84, in clause 151, page 61, line 33, leave out from ‘and’ to end of line 34.

No. 85, in clause 151, page 61, line 35, leave out from ‘and’ to end of line 36.

No. 86, in clause 152, page 61, line 38, leave out ‘non-profit’.

No. 87, in clause 153, page 62, line 7, leave out ‘non-profit’.

No. 88, in clause 154, page 62, line 28, leave out ‘non-profit’.

No. 89, in clause 155, page 62, line 37, leave out ‘non-profit’.

No. 90, in clause 156, page 63, line 8, leave out ‘non-profit’.

No. 91, in clause 157, page 63, line 21, leave out ‘non-profit’.

No. 92, in clause 157, page 63, line 24, leave out ‘non-profit’.

Photo of Lembit Öpik Lembit Öpik Shadow Minister (Housing), Department for Communities and Local Government

The amendments have been tabled in my name and that of my hon. Friend the Member for St. Ives. It is self-evident that they seek to enforce the same principle that we discussed on a previous clause, namely to provide a level playing field for profit and non-profit organisations. There is no benefit to be had from repeating those arguments. The Minister knows what they are, and I seek his perspective, which I can guess, on them.

Photo of Iain Wright Iain Wright Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government)

The hon. Gentleman was mercifully short, which I welcome, and I hope to make an equally short response.

We discussed the matter earlier. The approach that we have tried to take in the Bill is to recognise as much as possible the different structures and circumstances of non-profit and profit-making providers, and to acknowledge the wider statutory environment of governance and control. I hope that I have made it clear that it is essential that the regulator maintains the current level of regulatory vigilance, for want of a better term, in respect of existing social landlords. We need to secure an orderly transition to the new system, while retaining the confidence of lenders to the sector. At the same time, we want the new system to be open and flexible, which is why we have proposed that certain requirements and regulatory powers apply only in relation to non-profit providers.

The group of amendments would extend to all registered providers that are companies the requirement to obtain the regulator’s consent for dissolution and restructuring, as industrial and provident societies must do. On that basis, and from what I outlined earlier, the amendments are not necessary. They would be too onerous, bearing in mind the various balances and flexibilities that we need to achieve. I believe that the hon. Gentleman anticipated that approach, and I hope that he will withdraw the amendment.

Photo of Lembit Öpik Lembit Öpik Shadow Minister (Housing), Department for Communities and Local Government

That was a predictable and reasonable answer. It is evident to me that Government amendment No. 230 is becoming increasingly important in relation to this group of amendments. When we debate clause 174, will the Minister tell us how amendment No. 230 will impact on the restructuring, dissolution and accounts of profit-making registered providers? The inference on this and previous clauses to which I have moved amendments is that non-profit registered providers will be under a greater onus to conform to the clauses than profit-making registered providers. It would be helpful if the Minister were to clarify that matter when we discuss Government amendment No. 230.

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 150 ordered to stand part of the Bill.