HC Deb 20 April 1998 vol 310 cc507-8

Lords amendment: No. 4, in page 5, line 30, leave out ("the House of Commons") and insert ("Parliament")

Mrs. Liddell

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

The amendment would require any notice defining price stability or the Government's economic policies to be laid before the Lords as well as the House of Commons. It is about openness and about accountability to Parliament, so it should be welcomed.

I take the opportunity to draw to the attention of the House the written answer given earlier today by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary, in which he announced the Government's response to the consultation on cash ratio deposits. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The Government have decided that the initial CRD scheme should apply a zero rate to eligible liabilities up to £400 million and 0.15 per cent. to eligible liabilities over £400 million.

In relation to the amendment, there is no reason why the House of Lords should be excluded from receipt of the Government's notice—it will be publicly available anyway. The amendment clarifies that point; I commend it to the House.

Mr. Fallon

I am grateful to the Minister for that explanation and for her welcome, although she may have forgotten that I participated on Report, when I specifically drew attention to the issue of cash ratio deposits. It might have been helpful—I know that these things are difficult—to have copies of the Chief Secretary's written answer and details of the scheme before we started to consider the amendments. However, we look forward to receiving that—at some stage later today, presumably.

We welcome Lords amendment No. 4. The Minister said that the inclusion of the other place among those before whom any notice should be laid was a matter of openness and accountability; it also sounds to me like second thoughts and an improvement to the Bill. None the less, we welcome it.

Lords amendment agreed to.

Forward to