New Clause 4

Part of Financial Mutuals Arrangements Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:00 am ar 25 Ebrill 2007.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Edward Balls Edward Balls The Economic Secretary to the Treasury 10:00, 25 Ebrill 2007

Further to that point of order, Mr. Taylor. From the Government Benches, may I echo the comments of the hon. Member for Macclesfield? In essence, the legislation, which we will report to the House following today’s debate, takes forward the original proposals of the hon. Member for Bournemouth, West, and it follows a great deal of detailed consultation and discussion. We are very grateful to the hon. Gentleman and his advisers, Mutuo and the Co-operative party, and to the Treasury and Financial Services Authority advisers who have worked with us to translate the principles, concepts and intention into legislation that we will take forward if the House supports it on Report and Third Reading, and through the work of subsequent Committees and secondary legislation. We are very grateful for the hon. Gentleman’s work and leadership.

In reply to the hon. Member for Macclesfield, let me say that we are currently undertaking a broad-based review of the legislation in this field. There are necessarily limits to the amount of parliamentary time that the Government can make available in these areas. Where we have had time, we have used it, but we rely on the ability of private Members to make proposals, when they have the opportunity to do so, that we can support. There have been a number of private Members’ Bills in recent years that have substantially improved the legislative environment for mutuals and co-operatives in our country. This Bill is in that tradition, and the Government have not been brought reluctantly to the table. On the contrary, this is an established way of legislating and one that we fully support and encourage. However, success depends on the leadership and hard work of Members of this House. We are very grateful indeed to the hon. Member for Bournemouth, West for the leadership he has shown, which has enabled us to take forward a substantial improvement in the legislative framework for mutuals across our country.