Clause 2

Part of Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:15 am on 9th March 2010.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke Shadow Minister (Treasury) 10:15 am, 9th March 2010

It is fair to say that clause 2, which defines the debts to which the HIPC initiative will apply, is based on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund definitions. Clause 2(3)(a) states that the definition of debt excludes

“a liability to pay for goods or services that arose on the delivery of the goods or the provision of services”.

That is a significant carve-out. I can see why it has been made, but does the hon. Lady have any evidence—it might be unfair to spring this question on her—relating to the scale of the carve-out? A substantial amount of debt that would otherwise fall within the regime might not do so because of that exclusion. Why has that carve-out been made? As I have said, it is probably based on the World Bank and IMF definitions, but it would be helpful if the hon. Lady could shed further light on the issue.