Clause 3

Part of Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 9th March 2010.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Digital Britain) (also HM Treasury), Financial Secretary (HM Treasury) (also in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) 10:45 am, 9th March 2010

I certainly accept, as I have already indicated, that there is a degree of uncertainty—that is inevitable. One cannot give absolutely definitive figures. We have set out our best valuation in the impact assessment, which is that the Bill will prevent £145 million from being transferred from heavily indebted poor countries to litigating creditors through free-riding. While acknowledging the uncertainty, I think that that is as good an estimate as one can make. We can, however, be certain that the Bill will prevent the minority of commercial creditors that litigate and extract repayment in excess of that permitted under the HIPC initiative from using UK laws or courts to do so. That is an aim that I think the whole Committee shares, and that the Bill will fulfil.