Clause 1

Part of Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:30 am on 9th March 2010.

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Photo of David Gauke David Gauke Shadow Minister (Treasury) 9:30 am, 9th March 2010

I beg to move amendment 1, in clause 1, page 1, line 20, leave out “identify” and insert

“have identified by the date that this Act comes into force”.

It is a great pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr. Chope. This is the first time I have served on a Committee considering a private Member’s Bill, but—notwithstanding that it is a new experience for you—I am sure you will guide me as necessary.

The amendment relates to a specific aspect of the meaning of “qualifying debt” under the clause. I shall make broader remarks about the definition in our stand part debate and set out briefly what I hope to achieve during this morning’s proceedings. The amendment is narrow. It relates to which countries fall within the definition of qualifying debt. Essentially, the regime focuses on heavily indebted poor countries falling within the HIPC initiative, but it is also extended to include potentially eligible initiative countries. I tabled the amendment to obtain clarification of the provision. Under subsection (6),

“Potentially eligible Initiative country” means a country —

(a) “that the International Monetary Fund and World Bank identify as potentially eligible for debt relief under the Initiative, and

(b) in respect of which decision point has not been reached.”

I was not entirely clear when reading the provision whether it included simply those potentially eligible initiative countries identified at that point, or subsequently.