Clause 1

Part of Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 9th March 2010.

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Photo of John Hemming John Hemming Liberal Democrat, Birmingham, Yardley 10:00 am, 9th March 2010

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that intervention. We are in agreement—we are effectively dealing with the insolvency of countries, which do not have the revenue. If there is insolvency of countries, we are asking whether the poundage applies to everyone. That is a fair process to resolve a situation. If a country in that situation decides, in the interest of its long-term credit rating, to put particular effort into paying someone, that will be a different issue. However, that is an issue  for the countries themselves. The responsibility is always with lenders to consider the ability of the people to whom they are lending funds to pay them back. There have been many problems with people doling out money without considering whether people can pay it back. We see that in the banking crisis that we have had ourselves. To that extent, I am supportive of the Bill, and I should congratulate the hon. Member for Northampton, North on promoting it.