Clause 58

Part of Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:15 pm on 5th February 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of James Plaskitt James Plaskitt Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions 12:15 pm, 5th February 2008

I am making an important separate distinction, which I have tried to explain. It concerns the importance of the trustee corporation’s ability to act independently when acting as trustee to the personal accounts scheme. That is a separate set of circumstances, which is why the provision has been made.

The hon. Gentleman asked whether non-commercial rates would ever be contemplated. As in other issues such as grants, it is difficult at this point to anticipate the position. It would largely be for the market to determine when loans are being sought. Again, I say to him that, if we tried at this stage to impose severe restrictions on any of the financial options, even though an individual restriction that he sought might have reasons behind it, that would damage the overall context of allowing flexibility and protecting all of the other interests that he rightly wants safeguarded. Pinning down any one restriction would potentially raise difficulties in others. I am sure that he would want, across the whole of the funding arrangement, to maintain flexibility, not only to ensure the success of the scheme, but to minimise any set of issues that might arise if there was over-reliance on one particular source of funding, as I tried to argue in respect of charge levels.