§ [Nos. 20–20A]
Clause 25, page 25, line 30, at end insert—
("(6A)(a) The assumptions in subsection (2) of this section shall not be made where—
(b) For the purposes of paragraph (a) above, the interest in land shall be treated as having
been owned by an approved pension scheme at any time if at that time the approved pension scheme has, or had, entered into a binding contract for its acquisition.
(c) In this subsection "approved pension scheme" means a retirement pension scheme approved by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue under section 222 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1970 or a super-annuation fund approved by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue for the purposes of section 208 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1970.")
§ The Commons disagreed to this Amendment for the following Reason:
§ Because it is unnecessary to make special provision for approved pension schemes.
§ Lord MELCHETT
My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth not insist on their Amendment No. 20 to which the Commons have disagreed for the Reason numbered 20A, because it is unnecessary to make special provision for approved pension schemes. I am aware of the concern that noble Lords opposite have shown over the position of pension funds and the effect of the scheme on their investment in property, but for the reasons given by my right honourable friend in another place last night the Government consider that the fears of the Opposition have been based on misconceptions. In the light of what we have already decided about the position of Churches and charities, I hope noble Lords will agree that it would not be sensible to make a special case out of pension funds and to give them advantages over and above the Churches and charities, and that they will not insist on their Amendment.
§ Moved, That this House doth not insist on their Amendment No. 20 to which the Commons have disagreed for the Reason numbered 20A.—(Lord Melchett.)
§ Baroness YOUNG
My Lords, as I have already indicated, I have been unable to read the proceedings in the Commons after 10 o'clock last night, so I am afraid I am not aware of what the Minister said on that occasion when this Amendment was discussed. I can only say I am deeply disappointed that the Government have felt unable to consider the case of approved pension funds at all. The Amendment may not have been correctly drafted, it may even have gone too far, but it seems a pity that on such an important matter there was no point 1941 at which we could have found a compromise or gone any way to meet the fears of approved pension funds. I think the point to be borne in mind always is that they are looking after other people's money. They are in a quite separate category and not—I accept this—in the same category as the Churches and the charities which have been protected by law for hundreds of years. They have a very important role to play. I am very sorry that the Government have not seen that they themselves are in a special category.
§ 6.15 p.m.