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 take that point and I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for acknowledging that the amendment is well intentioned, as was his intervention. I do not want to get into one of the broader debates just yet. However, one of the issues that the Treasury’s consultation paper has tried to wrestle with—and which the Government and the hon. Member for Northampton, North acknowledged in her thoughtful speeches on Second Reading—is that we do not want to pursue a policy that means that the costs and interest rates that developing countries will have to pay will go up because of a risk premium. There is a carefully calibrated argument to address that issue. The Government’s consultation paper and the Bill have addressed it by providing some certainty, essentially looking backwards and saying, “These particular debts are covered.” I do not want to labour this point—I want to let the hon. Lady proceed—my purpose is simply to provide some certainty on what the thinking is and what the wording means.