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As I mentioned in my opening statement, we intend to follow what the amendment recommends as the cap on expenditure. It will be at £750 million. The noble

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Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, asked about the speed with which the money was being raised. He indicated a third by Beijing and two-thirds afterwards. We are hoping broadly to follow that pattern, and we have some assistance. He will recognise the advantages that the National Lottery Commission has identified in its new licence, which should yield an extra £60 million to £100 million for good causes and will help in this situation. Therefore, the impact of the £700 million transfer will potentially be reduced by the advantages of growth in that area. As I indicated in my opening statement, the transfer of the money will, and can, take place on a regular basis. However, I assure noble Lords that the resources will be transferred only as they are needed.

As my noble friend Lord Howarth said, would that we had been more secretive about the contingency funds, because they leave themselves open to exploitation. The only plea that I have ever heard in this House, and probably in the other place, has been for some restraint about publicity. The demand that everyone concerned with the Games always has to face, particularly with regard to funding, is for openness and transparency. That is why we are having this debate today, and of course the Government believe that they must be transparent. As my noble friend indicated, there is that cost involved in the contingency fund, but I am afraid that that is the price we pay for the way in which we conduct business. I emphasise to the House and to the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, that of course we will be as open as possible.

The noble Lord asked me specifically whether I can give a date for the review of the gross profits tax. I cannot do that but I hope he will accept in the best possible faith that the Government have indicated that the issue is to be looked at again with a serious review of the case. That follows considerable reluctance on the part of the Treasury in previous years to consider the matter. I hope he will take that in the spirit in which it is intended. It is a clear indication that this may be a fruitful area in which assistance can be given to the project. Of course, the Treasury would not be the institution that it is if it did not subject such potential changes and revenue loss to close scrutiny, and it will do so.

The noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, also commented on the grey area of pseudo-lottery games. We want to see what we can do about that but it is not an easy issue to tackle. We all share his objective, because this is a form of riding on the back of a major institution and is very close to cheating so far as the public are concerned, although that is probably the wrong expression. We all know that the advantages of the lottery and its power to appeal to people are being used by those who have no intention at all of fulfilling the broad objectives of the lottery, with the gains to good causes. That is an intensely unfair position to adopt. It is not easy for us to tackle it in legislation but we would certainly want to control it if we could.

The Memorandum of Understanding with the mayor is not legally binding. It is not a contract but an agreement between two highly significant public bodies, which are expected to honour the undertakings that

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they accept—particularly this one. No Memorandum of Understanding has reached the prominence that this one has and it will be subject to scrutiny year after year. Long after the Games are over, it will still form the basis of judgment with regard to land sales, which is a very difficult area. There is therefore no question but that the Memorandum of Understanding means a great deal to the parties who subscribe to it.

The noble Lord, Lord Glentoran, emphasised transparency. He is right to do so, and I am glad that he appreciates the arrangements which the Minister for the Olympic Games is making to ensure that the fullest possible information is given to all sides of the House on the issues.

On publicity, we are all still holding our breath to see the extent to which we succeed in selling the Olympic message to the nation, but let me say that we do not have to hold our breath for very long. The biggest single impulse towards the nation’s consciousness of the Olympic Games will take place the moment Beijing becomes a reality. Then, of course, the Olympic movement will mean an enormous amount to the people of this country. With regard to audience participation, when you see the television-viewing figures for the Olympic Games in all advanced countries, particularly among the sports-loving British, we do not have the slightest doubt that there could be no greater opportunity to increase awareness. Moreover, as noble Lords will recognise, the Olympic Games closes with Beijing handing over the responsibility to London. I do not have the slightest doubt that that is when this country will very obviously engage fully with the opportunities that the Olympics will provide.

I do not, however, underestimate the solid work that has been done right across the country. There has been enormous preparation for what the noble Lord, Lord Glentoran, and other noble Lords from other sides of the House have rightly emphasised are London Olympics for the nation’s good, and the nation as a whole needs to benefit from them. Enormous groundwork has been done, but it will take time. It will be once the Beijing Olympics are over that the nation will really engage with the London Olympics. As I said in my opening contribution, the fact that London is hosting the Games enjoys the approval of more than three-quarters of the population at this stage. We will do a lot better than that once the torch has been handed to us.

My noble friend Lord Howarth took the opportunity to extend the debate to the causes which he holds dear. I hope he will recognise that my job this evening is to get this order through and to try to persuade the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, to withdraw his amendment. I therefore cannot enter into debate with my noble friend on all the interests that he particularly has at heart, but I entirely accept his basic premise that if we are to present the Olympics as a cultural event for the nation, we had better take good care to enhance the cultural legacy that we already have for the benefit of the nation. I particularly appreciated his concept of the investment in skills in the preservation of our heritage. That is an important dimension.

The noble Earl, Lord Caithness, challenged me directly. Let me say that the contingency fund is generous

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and significant, as he will recognise, although we do not want to use it at all—only at the absolute margins, if we can manage. If we did not have a proper contingency fund, we would be faced with anxiety about the Games and constant crisis every time the resources ran short. That is sound and good provision, but of course the objective of all those concerned with the Games is to deliver them without that contingency fund being utilised.

On the resources, the noble Earl knows a great deal more about land sales than I do. The noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, said that he cannot guess London land values too accurately. I certainly cannot, but I make this obvious point; it will take considerable time before the land sales are realised after the Games. We are not talking about an immediate realisation of resources.

It is not a question of interest being paid back to the lottery, as the lottery has not given a loan. Resources have been diverted from the lottery to this great project, and in doing so we are fulfilling one absolutely prime reason for conceiving the lottery; that it is there to fund great national occasions. That is part of its remit, and what is greater than the Olympics? They were unforeseen and unpremeditated, until we succeeded with the bid. When the big demands on resources come in, the lottery is exactly the vehicle for dealing with them.

However, as I have indicated, the percentage of resources devoted to the Olympics has increased more from the Government side than from the lottery side. Therefore, it is not a question of interest being paid on a loan but of an agreement whereby, as land sales take place, a proper percentage of those resources goes to the lottery in order to repay the money that has been taken. Also, if the land sales greatly exceed the figure involved, the lottery will get more back than what has been transferred from it. However, that is bound to be conjecture; I am in no position to form a prospectus on how those issues should occur. I may not have answered the noble Earl, Lord Caithness, with quite as much precision as he would have liked, but I hope that that will do for now.

I want to emphasise that the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, has been as assiduous as ever in his concern regarding the Olympic Games and their consequences for the broader issues of lottery good causes. I hope that I have reassured him that the Government have thought carefully about these issues; we are concerned to minimise the impact upon good causes, and to indemnify them and advance their interests after the Games are over. At the same time, we will be directing all of our energies to ensuring that the Olympic Games to be held in London in 2012 will be the greatest ever.

Lord Clement-Jones: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his careful wind-up speech, and I can reassure him that he has done the job he set out to do. This was not an order that we should have looked at lightly or passed quickly; our serious debate today has demonstrated many different aspects of this, and the concerns that noble Lords have about it.



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Some very interesting points have been made. The noble Lord, Lord Howarth of Newport, had some extremely interesting ideas; I hope that the new Secretary of State will explore some of them. The noble Earl, Lord Caithness, pointed out a fundamental truth—one that I know the noble Lord, Lord Coe, is extremely well apprised of, as are other members of LOCOG, the ODA and so on; that is, that these Games must be seen as being for the whole nation, not simply for London. Otherwise, how can we persuade good causes in the nations and regions, which may be losing out in the short term, that they should forgo some of their income for the Games? How can we persuade them of the benefits?

The Minister, in winding up, made further points on the key parts of the package, so to speak. We on the Liberal Democrat Benches believe it important to go forward with it. He has reiterated the £750 million cap and talked about the speed of raising that amount. He has also talked about the GPT review, and it is highly significant that the Treasury has made that shift in its thinking. Even though the Minister cannot give assurances about that review, I very much hope that it will be quick and will result in early action. Further, even though the aspect of the grey lotteries is key and a difficult one to grapple with, it is important that the National Lottery legislation order is brought up to date. Quite frankly, commercial lotteries should not be able to trade off the back of all the good will that has been established by the National Lottery over the years.

We on these Benches will not push the amendment to a vote. When I tabled it some months ago, it was at a time when we were instituting discussions with the former Secretary of State about the way forward and how we could mitigate the effect of this order. I am glad to say that we have a package which, if it comes together, will go a long way towards mitigating its effect. That is extremely welcome. I thank the Minister and his colleagues for what they have done and I hope that we are now in a position to make sure not only that we have a highly successful Games that are properly funded, but also that in the process we will not find that our good causes are disadvantaged. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Climate Change Bill [HL]

5.36 pm

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now again resolve itself into Committee on this Bill.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.

[The CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (Lord Brabazon of Tara) in the Chair.]

Clause 51 [Waste reduction schemes]:

On Question, Whether Clause 51 shall stand part of the Bill?



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Lord Greaves: At long last we have arrived at Part 5, of which Schedule 5 makes up a great deal. Here we move from grave, major global problems and national targets to the back streets of England. I wish I could say that I am bringing a backstreet mob with me to deal with all this, but unfortunately it is just me. However, these are important issues and they must be properly debated.

I should apologise for the fact that I could not take part in the Second Reading debate, but I have read it in detail and with great interest. There was not a great deal of discussion of Part 5, which sets out the waste minimisation provisions, in particular the proposals to allow local authorities to charge for removing refuse under certain circumstances. The reason I have tabled a clause stand part debate is to allow a short general debate on these provisions before we get down to the detail, which I think will be helpful.

The Liberal Democrat view, with greater or lesser enthusiasm, is that if councils wish to try out these provisions, by and large we should let them do so. The Local Government Association is rather more enthusiastic than I about these proposals because it thinks that lots of councils will wish to be, in the words of its spokesman, “innovative and enterprising”. I wonder how many will be prepared to go ahead with the pilots; we will find out. My personal view is a sceptical one. I am not at all sure that this is going to be one of the major ways, or even an important minor one, in which this country tackles climate change, but I do believe that the House of Lords should scrutinise the legislation closely at this stage because it may be the only chance this part gets for detailed consideration. We have no control over what happens in the House of Commons, but quite often it does not get to the end of Bills, and it is obvious that Members of the other place will spend a lot of time on the major issues such as targets, greenhouse gas emissions reduction and so on. So this may be the only real chance the Bill gets for detailed scrutiny. If, in the Government’s view, the pilots are successful so that they come forward with what they called the roll outs across the country, that will be done by secondary legislation. Although we will be able to discuss it, clearly we will not be able to go through it in the detail we can today. We have got a job to do in the time left to us on this Bill.

This part of the Bill seeks to set up pilot schemes which will enable local authorities, in certain circumstances, to either charge or give rebates to householders for the disposal of their waste, and it suggests four kinds of pilots. We had a useful letter from the Minister on this matter, setting out in some detail the way the Government see this scheme going forward. The Defra website is a mine of extremely useful information on this—there is a great deal of information out there—but, on the other hand, the details and how it is going to work are not very clear.

There are four main schemes set out by the Government. First, there is a bin-volume based scheme, which some people call big bins and little bins. Secondly, there is a weight-based scheme, in which a chip placed in the wheelie-bin is able to measure the amount of refuse put out by each householder. This is a system which has led to a certain amount of deliberation in

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the national media and which some people call chip and bin. Thirdly, there is a frequency-based scheme where there might be a basic collection every fortnight. If you want a collection every week you can have it—or you can ring up and ask for a special collection—but you will pay extra for it. Fourthly, there is a sack-based scheme in which householders pay for sacks to set out their waste and everyone on the scheme perhaps receives a flat-rate rebate. Therefore there is a redistribution from people who put out more sacks to people who put out fewer sacks. It is what some people call “a pound a sack” scheme. It might be a pound, it might not; we will perhaps find out what kind of level the Government have in mind. In Maastricht, one of the places they highlight where this has worked, each sack costs a euro—and the way things are going a euro is not far off a pound; it is now worth about 75p.

Perhaps I may ask some general questions at this stage. First, is the principle right? Is it right to try to reduce the amount of waste produced—which everyone accepts has to be done—at the point of collection? Would it not be more cost effective and less administratively and politically difficult to take action in other ways—for example, by reducing the amount of packing at source; by going over to use-once bags rather than throwaway bags; by collecting kitchen waste, which is perhaps the main component of domestic waste so far as concerns global warming and greenhouse gases; and by tackling commercial and industrial waste? There are a number of amendments from both the Conservatives and ourselves on some of these issues later on, but the basic question is whether the principle of targeting people at the household is right. There is a major question mark over this.

Secondly, which schemes in other countries do the Government regard as the models to be copied or piloted here? The documentation the Government have produced lists a number of these but the information provided is sketchy.

Thirdly, will the Government tell us which councils they are talking to that might want to bring this in? So far they have refused to say. The Local Government Association has refused to tell me which councils it thinks are interested, but if we are going to judge whether these pilots are successful, it is very important that we have some idea of the kinds of areas they might cover.

Fourthly, the Government say that up to £18 per household cost savings might be made from a charging system, but does that come from the charging or from the related measures to recycle more associated with it? How reliable is that figure? As to the national saving of £94 million per year that the Government say might be made, what level of national take-up does that figure suggest will take place—100 per cent, 50 per cent, or rather less? Some people will say that this is about reducing the amount of stuff we throw away, that it is about climate change and the fact that the earth is heating up, and so is worth doing. But there is no point in going over to schemes that will not work and are not seen to be fair, because that will result in a public reaction that does harm to the whole campaign.



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5.45 pm

The other questions are: is the reduction in greenhouse gases, which this might result in, really going to be significant in terms of the overall targets? Will it be cost effective? Are there not better ways of doing it that will produce better value in terms of the investment put in?

I would be much happier with this measure if it were part of a comprehensive Bill setting out all kinds of ways in which local authorities and other public bodies could tackle the related problems of reducing the amount of waste, which is necessary regardless of climate change, and reducing the amount of emissions from stuff that goes to landfill or in other ways. If this were just one of a whole series of measures, with regard particularly to local authorities but also to other public bodies at regional, local and national level, we would regard it as being more substantial. It seems odd that this is one little measure tacked on to a major climate change Bill that is really quite different from the rest of the Bill. That, I suppose, is why I am moving these amendments on behalf of our party.

I put this forward with a reasonably constructive but sceptical point of view, and look forward to the Minister’s reply to it.

Earl Cathcart: The Climate Change Bill is framework legislation, but here in Part 5 a very specific provision is bolted on to the Bill. To me it looks rather strange and out of place in the Bill, but there it is—no doubt, to stay. However, does it hit the spot? Five local authorities are to pilot waste-reduction schemes to encourage households to minimise and recycle their waste. The aspiration is to have zero waste from households going to landfill, an admirable goal.

Here I should probably declare an interest: I have been a councillor on Breckland District Council in Norfolk for the past 10 years. Breckland council currently collects over 42 per cent of waste for recycling, while I believe the national average is somewhere in the region of the mid-20s. Britain has an appalling record on waste management. Clauses 51 to 54 look only at a very narrow element of waste—householders minimising and recycling their waste—with carrot-and-stick incentives. However, it does not seem to tackle the issue of reducing the production of waste and packaging in the first place—waste minimisation—although there are signs that some retailers are committed to reducing packaging.

Why deal only with households? Why not all waste collected by local authorities from manufacturers, retailers, importers, service providers, state-related enterprises, offices, shops, schools and so on? Household waste represents only about 10 per cent of the UK’s waste overall. We are looking at only a fraction of the problem. Is that the intention?

At Second Reading, the noble Lord, Lord Rooker, said that 6 million tonnes of wood that could be used for energy go to landfill every year. He went on to say that this is an appalling waste. Will Part 5 of the Bill deal with that? If not, why not?


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