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Lord Whitty: My noble friend Lord Borrie makes my first point for me. To some extent, the same applies to sustainability, which is written into Clause 38 as a responsibility of the authority. Of course, the other side of the coin of what the noble Lord, Lord Borrie, says is that consumers have an interest in matters that are not related or definable under the term sustainability. Therefore, the consumer interest, while it overlaps with sustainable development, is not coterminous with it. Therefore, we wish to ensure that this body will primarily look after the needs of consumers in their broadest sense. If the noble Lord, Lord Dixon-Smith, thinks that that is too broad, so do consumers. It is reasonable that we would not constrain it. I am concerned that his Amendment No. 90A, and to some extent Amendment No. 90, would constrain it unnecessarily.
On Amendment No. 91, clearly there is a wider range of issues. The Bill is designed to ensure that the Secretary of State takes account of those in defining what consumer interests are, and that should be reflected in the role of the council. I am unclear as to
Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer: However, if the Minister assured me that students were covered under subsection (2C)(c), which provides for individuals with low incomes, I might feel happier about it. Perhaps that definition is already in his mind.
I believe that the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Dixon-Smith, would achieve what I was seeking to do without having the slightly over-used word "sustainable"I sometimes struggle to avoid using it. He hit on exactly what we are trying to achieve. I do not agree with the noble Lord, Lord Borrie, that the issue is automatically covered by the reference to "future consumers". If price were the issue, one might
However, I hope that the Bill looks at the matter in its wider context. Perhaps the noble Lord, Lord Dixon-Smith, and I, if we do not feel that the Minister's reply satisfies what we seek to achieve, will be able to get together before Report stage to try to come up with an amendment that better defines the consumer interest. In the mean time, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer: I wish to seek the Committee's opinion. Amendment No. 92 is particularly important to me, and I wish to speak to it at length. Would it be convenient to the Committee if we started with it at the next session?
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