New Clause 14 - Compensation of losses incurred by closure of legacy schemes

Part of Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:30 pm ar 27 Ionawr 2022.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Peter Grant Peter Grant Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Treasury - Chief Secretary) 2:30, 27 Ionawr 2022

The Minister started off by suggesting his main concern was that the new clause seeks to go further than has been requested by the Police Superintendents Association. If that was the case, then the Minister could have easily tabled an amendment that came closer, in his view, to delivering what the PSA was asking for without going significantly further. He has not done that, so we have to wonder if he had any intention of addressing the issue had the new clause not been tabled.

We are asking the Chancellor to table a report and present it to Parliament. There is nothing in the new clause that would require the Chancellor to commit a single penny of additional spending. It does not tell the Chancellor what his or her conclusions have to be at the end of that. It is perfectly in line with the wording of the new clause for the Chancellor to produce a report to say, “We could remedy the situation by doing a, b, c, x, y and z, but I cannot recommend doing that because that would introduce unfair discrimination that would be contrary to the purpose of the Act.”

The Minister is trying to make it seem as if the new clause is about forcing the Government to incur additional expenditure. My reading of it is that it is deliberately worded to avoid asking for a commitment at this stage, but it seeks to force the Government to recognise that there might still be a massive weakness in the Bill and to force the Chancellor to come forward with a solution that might address that weakness. If the solution proves to be unworkable or to be unfair in other ways, Parliament has the option to reject it.

Surely, it is wrong, at this stage, that a potentially serious unfairness should be left sitting in the Bill just because we are not sure we can find a way of fixing it. That is not a fair response to give, either to the hon. Member for Hampstead and Kilburn, who moved the new clause, or to those officers who are likely to be affected by it.