Pension Annuities (Amendment) Bill

– in a Public Bill Committee am ar 14 Chwefror 2002.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

[Mr. George Stevenson in the Chair]

Photo of David Curry David Curry Ceidwadwyr, Skipton and Ripon 8:55, 14 Chwefror 2002

I beg to move,

That, during proceedings on the Pension Annuities (Amendment) Bill, the Committee do meet on Thursdays when the House is sitting at five minutes to Nine o'clock and half-past Two o'clock.

It is traditional that you allow some latitude at this stage in our proceedings, Mr. Stevenson, so may I first note that today is St. Valentine's day and that private Member's Bills are a chore over and above the usual duties of Ministers? The Bill is the second private Member's Bill with which the Economic Secretary has had to deal in two days. I do not wish that to be overlooked. Perhaps the hon. Lady has been earmarked for a task that she would prefer not to do. So, from a Yorkshire Member of Parliament to a Lancashire Member of Parliament, my finest attempt at gallantry would be to offer her a red rose.

Photo of Mr George Stevenson Mr George Stevenson Llafur, Stoke-on-Trent South

Order. All contributions in Committee must come through the Chair.

Photo of David Curry David Curry Ceidwadwyr, Skipton and Ripon

Indeed, Mr. Stevenson. I am looking forward to discussing the Bill with the Minister. Given the number of amendments that have been tabled by the Government, her purpose in Committee may be to disembowel rather than to clarify, but all of us know the name of the game. I shall take her indignant repudiation of such an outrageous suggestion at the value that comes with my long experience of having been a Minister and having been occasionally in the same situation.

Photo of Ruth Kelly Ruth Kelly Economic Secretary, HM Treasury

I welcome you to the Chair, Mr. Stevenson. I think that this is the first time that I have debated a Bill under your chairmanship and I look forward to receiving the benefit of your wisdom and experience. I also thank—through the Chair, of course—the right hon. Member for Skipton and Ripon (Mr. Curry) for the rose. It is the third that I have received today—the other two were from my children.

If our debates are not concluded today, I look forward to further sittings. I tried extremely hard to explain all my arguments against the Bill on Second Reading, but was rudely interrupted in mid flow. I was about to refer to its financial implications when, unfortunately, we were faced with the closure motion and the House did not have the chance thoroughly to debate such matters.

Question put and agreed to.