§ [Nos. 1–3]
§ Clause 2, page 3, line 9, after (" above ") insert (" otherwise than in retail shops with a selling space of less than 250 sq. ft. ")
Clause 2, Page 3, line 15, at end insert—
(" ( ) in subsection (4) after paragraph (c) there shall be inserted the following new paragraph—
(d) the provisions of this subsection shall not apply to retail shops with a selling space of less than 250 sq. ft.";")
§ The Commons disagree to these Amendments for the following Reason:—
§ Because provisions which are designed to ensure that the benefit of subsidies reaches the consumer should apply to all shops irrespective of size.
§ Lord JACQUES
My Lords, with the leave of the House, I beg to move that the House doth not insist on their Amendments Nos. 1 and 2, to which the Commons have disagreed for the following Reason:Because provisions which are designed to ensure that the benefit of subsidies reaches the consumer should apply to all shops irrespective of size.I have, both on Report and in. Committee, given detailed arguments against these Amendments and I assume that the 461 House will not wish me to repeat them. I would, however, like to add something that I was not able to say at the earlier stages; that is, that we have had no representations whatever, either from small shopkeepers or from any other traders, that the provisions of this Bill give them particular difficulties. My Lords, I beg to move.
§ Lord ELTON
My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Jacques, will not expect me to disguise from the House the dissatisfaction that is felt on this side at the out-turn of events. We are most concerned. This is to our eyes intransigent treatment of our view. It will have painful repercussions for a large number of people, most of them self-employed and many of them employing others, and where there is a run-down in that sector of the market there will of course be a reduction in employment. However, it would be wrong of me not to draw to your Lordships' attention the very thin silver lining of two sets of remarks made by the Minister in another place.
He accepted that the shops with which we are dealing,… are of key importance in servicing the needs of some people, particularly those living in rural communities …".and he gave a number of undertakings, the most important of which were that only the minimum number of records, adapted as closely as possible to the existing record-keeping practices of the trade, should be required from any retailer and that in preparing Orders,… we shall consider most carefully the particular difficulties of the small shop-keepers."—[Official Report, Commons, 5/5/75; cols. 1160 and 1153.]So will we in examining the results of this legislation, and we hope that opportunities will be taken, as under the 1974 Act, to use the Statutory Instrument as a means of lightening the burden on people who are at present grossly overloaded in terms both of work and of the imposition of taxation by Central Government, and whose decline we think would harm the rural community. Any record-keeping requirements, I note from a speech in the other place, will not operate retrospectively. That is the full amount of the silver lining and its depth really depends on the use of the Statutory Instrument. Beyond that, and saying that we honestly 462 and deeply regret what we think is a Governmental mistake, I can add nothing.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.