Clause 13 - Enforcement authorities: supplementary

Part of Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 7 December 2021.

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Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) 2:30, 7 December 2021

I think it would be helpful if I conclude my contribution, and then the hon. Lady can come back in. [Interruption.] Well, it might be helpful if the hon. Lady let me respond to the points she made first. As I said, if the fine is set at a level that is appropriate to the crime, that might be in excess of what is necessary in order to cover the costs incurred by the authority. In that case, as it is not meant to generate revenue, the money would go back to the Secretary of State or the Welsh Minister, as appropriate.

The natural equilibrium of things will be reached by ensuring that the money generated covers the costs of administering the programme. If it does not, the Government will need to be mindful of that. As I have said, we are in conversation with the Local Government Association and we will see how that progresses. The hon. Lady is wise to raise that point. We do not want to see anything that disincentivises authorities from prosecutions because they do not think their costs will be covered. That is a really important point, and we will need to be mindful of it.