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Lord Sharman: My Lords, the names of my noble friend Lord Razzall and myself are on all the amendments in this group. I shall be brief. The noble Lord, Lord Hodgson, has explained graphically and
10 May 2006 : Column 962
enthusiastically the rationale behind these amendments. From these Benches, we support them also.

Lord McKenzie of Luton: My Lords, I am conscious that I disappointed the noble Lord, Lord Hodgson, in Grand Committee. I hope that I will not disappoint him so much on this occasion, although I am not sure that he will be happy with the totality of what I have to say. We have considered carefully the raft of amendments that the noble Lord brought forward in Grand Committee on the audit of charities. On some, we have brought forward amendments at this stage, but that should not be seen as our total response to the points that the noble Lord has raised. We have already debated the amendments that make the Bill refer to the Charity Commission, not the Charity Commissioners, consistent with the Charities Bill. In Part 16, we have amendments to bring the thresholds applying to charitable companies into line with those for charitable companies in the Charities Bill.

The amendments to which the noble Lord has spoken go much further, together with the degrouped list which we will discuss subsequently, and would move in the direction of subjecting small charitable companies to the same rules on scrutiny of financial accounts as unincorporated charities are subject to under the Charities Acts. Overall, we have sympathy with that proposal and are willing to consider it. However, we need to consider it carefully, taking into account the interests and views of the charities and those who contribute to and work with charities.

If we conclude that it is right that small charitable companies should be subject to a charity law audit regime rather than a company law one, it would probably be best to remove small charitable companies from the audit rules in company law altogether. That way charity law would determine the appropriate regime for audit of all charities, whether companies or not. I think that that is a point on which the noble Lord would agree.

We agree that it would be clearer for charities if we were able to apply a single set of rules set out in charity law to all small charities for purposes of audit, but we are not in a position yet to amend the Bill in the way proposed. We have, however, following Grand Committee, discussed this with the Home Office and others. There will be a consultation with a view to our bringing forward appropriate amendments, probably in another place, if this is the outcome of the consultation.

In summary, I agree to consider these amendments. We are minded to remove the special rules for scrutiny of the financial accounts of small charitable companies from company law and there will be a brief consultation on that. I hope that the noble Lord will see that as at least half a loaf and that our earnest intention is to move down the path which he would support and accept.

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts: My Lords, as I said to the noble Lord, Lord Sainsbury, at an earlier stage, "Fine words butter no parsnips". I am grateful to the
10 May 2006 : Column 963
noble Lord, Lord Sharman, for his support. The Government talk about the changes that they have made to bring this Bill into line with the Charities Bill. To say, "Well, we changed the words Charity Commissioners to Charity Commission" is what I might call a small change.

Lord McKenzie of Luton: My Lords, I just itemised that, along with a couple of other amendments before us today, as something which is on account. But I thought that I had made clear the substance of what we want to achieve.

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts: My Lords, we then have to consult the charities. Perhaps I may say that we sat through eight days in Grand Committee on the Charities Bill and there was an enormous amount of consultation. There is really nothing more to be said about this. To have a consultation and then to say, "We might bring something in if this is the outcome in another place" I am afraid is not good enough. I wish to test the opinion of the House.

6.24 pm

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 223) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 142; Not-Contents, 120.

Division No. 1


Addington, L. [Teller]
Alderdice, L.
Alton of Liverpool, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Arran, E.
Attlee, E.
Baker of Dorking, L.
Barker, B.
Blaker, L.
Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury, B.
Bowness, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Brittan of Spennithorne, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brookeborough, V.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Carlile of Berriew, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chadlington, L.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Chidgey, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Courtown, E.
Craig of Radley, L.
Craigavon, V.
Crathorne, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
De Mauley, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dundee, E.
Dykes, L.
Eccles, V.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Erroll, E.
Falkland, V.
Ferrers, E.
Finlay of Llandaff, B.
Flather, B.
Fookes, B.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Fowler, L.
Freeman, L.
Garden, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goodhart, L.
Goschen, V.
Griffiths of Fforestfach, L.
Hamilton of Epsom, L.
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Henley, L.
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Howe, E.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Inglewood, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jones of Cheltenham, L.
Kimball, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kirkham, L.
Kirkwood of Kirkhope, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lucas, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
McAlpine of West Green, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
McNally, L.
Maginnis of Drumglass, L.
Marlesford, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Morris of Bolton, B.
Moynihan, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Newby, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Noakes, B.
Northover, B.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Quinton, L.
Rawlings, B.
Reay, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Roberts of Llandudno, L.
Roper, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sandwich, E.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Seccombe, B.
Selsdon, L.
Sharman, L.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Steel of Aikwood, L.
Stewartby, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Thatcher, B.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Tonge, B.
Tordoff, L.
Trenchard, V.
Ullswater, V.
Vallance of Tummel, L.
Waddington, L.
Wakeham, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Windlesham, L.


Acton, L.
Adams of Craigielea, B.
Adonis, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alli, L.
Amos, B. [Lord President.]
Anderson of Swansea, L.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Bhatia, L.
Bilston, L.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Carter of Coles, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Colville of Culross, V.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B.
Davidson of Glen Clova, L.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Drayson, L.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Falkender, B.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Foster of Bishop Auckland, L.
Foulkes of Cumnock, L.
Gale, B.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Brookwood, L.
Grabiner, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Hart of Chilton, L.
Haskel, L.
Haworth, L.
Hayman, B.
Henig, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howarth of Newport, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jones, L.
Judd, L.
Kennedy of The Shaws, B.
Kerr of Kinlochard, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
McKenzie of Luton, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Maxton, L.
Mitchell, L.
Moonie, L.
Morgan of Drefelin, B.
Morgan of Huyton, B.
O'Neill of Clackmannan, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Rogan, L.
Rosser, L.
Rowlands, L.
Royall of Blaisdon, B.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sewel, L.
Sheldon, L.
Simon, V.
Soley, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Taylor of Bolton, B.
Temple-Morris, L.
Tenby, V.
Tomlinson, L.
Triesman, L.
Truscott, L.
Tunnicliffe, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

10 May 2006 : Column 965
6.34 pm

Lord McKenzie of Luton moved Amendment No. 224:

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