The noble Lord, Lord Curry, said that he did not want the fund to build up to too great a level. That is the purpose of the five-yearly review. It is intended that the policy will be reviewed every five years by the Government to assess the level at which the levy and the premium thresholds are set and to ensure that the policy objectives of Flood Re continue to be delivered, including the transition to risk-reflective pricing. As I have said, Flood Re will be accountable to Parliament throughout the life of the policy.

Finally, picking up on the points made by the noble Lord, Lord Campbell-Savours, on Report, I entirely agree that where there are simple measures that households can install after a flood to improve their resilience at no extra cost, the insurance industry should be taking all possible steps to encourage this. Many insurers already do this and we will work with the industry to encourage this as best practice. We are also continuing to discuss with the insurance industry whether surpluses could be used to fund surveys, to help address the concerns that have been raised in your Lordships’ House about access to independent advice.

I ask my noble friend whether she is prepared, on the basis of my answer, to withdraw her amendment.

Baroness Parminter: I thank all noble Lords who have joined in this short but important debate as we seek to ensure that Flood Re achieves what we all want it to achieve, which is to help individual households move towards risk-reflective pricing and make them more able to cope with the challenges of climate change, as most clearly reflected in the flooding situations that we have seen. I listened carefully to what the Minister had to say and was pleased to see that he again articulated that “spend to save” is not ruled out in the administration of Flood Re and, secondly, that any secondary legislation will set out that it is open to Flood Re to spend any surplus helping households invest in more resilience measures. Those are both important steps which needed putting on the record. I think both I and the noble Lord, Lord Krebs, will be very grateful and thankful for that comment.

On that basis, we have probably pushed this issue as far as we can. We have sought throughout the process to be helpful to the Government in their ongoing discussions with the ABI, and I hope they feel that we have achieved that. We look forward, once the Bill has completed its parliamentary stages and secured state aid clearance, to looking at the secondary legislation, where I am sure this matter will be touched on again. Finally, as this will probably be the last time I speak on this matter in the House, I would very much like to put on record my thanks to the Minister and the Bill team for all the constructive discussions and dialogues they have had with me and my colleagues on these Benches. It has been an extremely technical and complex Bill and we are grateful to them for the time that they have given to help us in our job of making sure that the Bill leaves this House in better shape than that in which it came to us.

Amendment 14 withdrawn.

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Clause 55: Scheme administration

Amendment 15

Moved by Lord Campbell-Savours

15: Clause 55, page 110, line 22, at end insert—

“(e) the need to review annually the operation of the Scheme”

Lord Campbell-Savours: My Lords, in moving this amendment, which calls for an annual review of Flood Re to deal with business which I do not believe has been concluded, I need to declare an interest. I have a leasehold interest with my wife, which I have declared on previous occasions on the Bill, in a band G home on the Thames. Although it is built on the flood plain, my flat is not threatened by flooding. It has never been flooded and can never flood because it is on the second floor. Nevertheless, I have to report that the car park area that serves our block of flats was recently subjected to some flooding, and it is with that in mind that I feel I should restrict my comments today and limit again what I have to say.

The problem with this whole debate on Flood Re is that it was never fully considered in the House of Commons. Some of the worst flooding—certainly this century and for a greater part of the previous century—actually took place after consideration in the Commons and during consideration in the Lords. I believe that many Members of Parliament in the other place would have been drawn into the debate as a result of pressure from their constituents in the event that they had experienced what many people experienced in January and February.

Before I make my wider comments, I thank the Minister for generously offering to arrange a meeting through his office, and I thank Mr Leckie, one of his staff, who has been excellent in his dealings with me. I hope at that meeting to have a representative of the ABI; Miss Anne McIntosh, the Member of Parliament for the constituency to which I referred on another occasion; and one of her constituents, whose statements I drew upon in the previous debate.

I have tabled this amendment because for many people in the country these proceedings are the most important part of the Bill, and they are watching what is happening in this debate on the internet. Many thousands of people in the country are following this debate because they feel that they have been excluded from Flood Re. While we all want Flood Re to go through, I believe that it remains unfinished business. I want to refer specifically to a group of properties, which would not include my own, that fall under the lower council tax bands A to D—mine is G, so I would not be affected by my own amendment or by what I am advocating. I choose those council tax bands because they involve, generally speaking, a group of lower- income people who can ill afford the arrangements that are being made.

I want to call on some correspondence that I received by e-mail, which a number of Members have received, from a man called Mr Junco Cochrane. He has been expressing concern in desperate e-mails to Members of this place in his best e-mail English. He says:

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“I wrote to the ABI Director and have had quite a bullying type of reply. Leaseholders”—

he is one; they are excluded from Flood Re—

“have very little say and are virtually told what to do and how high to pay”.

He then points out the need to,

“prevent discrimination and distress for leaseholders”—

I believe he is speaking for leaseholders all over the country—

“who often are the poorer and older persons at the end of the property market, and with rip-off charges in various areas, often for nothing of any or little value”.

This is how he has phrased his e-mail. He goes on to say:

“Many leaseholders are pensioners and are not comfortably off ones. May I say respectfully, not like you in your fortunate situation”—

he is talking about me and my band G—

“as many of us just have the one small leasehold and struggle to keep that”.

I repeat: this man is excluded from the arrangements that are being made. He goes on to say:

“Many of us are the poorer category of households, old people in retirement flats, sheltered housing and social leaseholders, who are generally older people, of which there are millions in these types of flats”.

He is exaggerating but he obviously believes that there is a great number. He goes on:

“They are not in the ‘three’ conversions such as those referred to by DEFRA”.

We know what the three conversions are: they are where you have three flats in one block and there has been a compromise in Flood Re whereby they are now included. His e-mails to me and to others are desperate. This is the desperate voice of someone who is really upset about the way in which the legislation is being handled.

In response to people like him—and to Beverley Morris, who wrote to me on a previous occasion—the ABI maintains that insurance at reasonable rates will be made available. In a letter which the Minister kindly arranged to be sent to me, Otto Thoresen, the director-general of the ABI, gives assurances to government that it can deliver on reasonably priced insurance. He states:

“While there are a range of customers seeking insurance in the leasehold market, on the whole freeholders of leasehold property are commercial enterprises that buy their buildings insurance in a different way from ordinary homeowners. There is no failure in this market, and we expect affordable cover to remain available for such properties in an open market. For this reason, they do not need to be included in Flood Re … We fully expect the competitive market that currently allows leasehold managers to buy affordable cover to remain in place, and there remains no evidence to suggest it will not. It may be helpful to stress that Flood Re will be available for contents cover bought by individual residents in leasehold properties”—

which is true—

“and that leaseholders who insure their building in their own name will be able to access buildings and contents insurance through Flood Re if needed”.

That statement is simply inaccurate. He must know what the truth is. He must have seen the evidence that we presented on Report, wherein a lady writes to tell us that her insurance is to go five times higher than what it is at the moment. It is to go up from £5,000 to £23,000, yet Mr Thoresen gives those assurances.

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That is the case with Mr Cochrane and people all over the country—very often low-income families—who live in properties many of which at the end of the day will not even be insured because people will not be able to find insurance. If a lower-income family living in a block of flats in an affected area finds that they cannot afford the insurance at the higher prices, they will still have to buy it, because those who have taken out a mortgage are under pressure from their mortgage company to insure their flats. Therefore, they are locked into high reinsurance premiums and there is no way out.

I understand that Mr Ian Fletcher of the British Property Federation, while expressing his concerns about the comments of people such as Mr Thoresen on Flood Re in general, told the Daily Telegraph—and this is his explanation as to why the insurance companies have taken the position that they have:

“We think the problem stems from the fact that insurers’ systems can’t cope with leasehold as a residential form of ownership. They are viewed as commercial properties from insurers’ viewpoints”.

Well, the fact is that they are not necessarily commercial properties. Anyhow, surely they could have changed their systems when they were devising Flood Re somehow to incorporate such people, particularly those in lower-income groups, who are going to find themselves in a pretty difficult position. That matter must inevitably become the subject of Flood Re at some stage in the future.

I move on to another group of people who feel very aggrieved. I have a note, which has just come down the line to me, from Lynne Jones, the chair of the Keswick Flood Action Group. She is speaking on another group who are excluded and who should be of equal concern to us. She states:

“I am … Chair of Keswick Flood Action Group”—

Keswick Flood Action Group is an action group in my former constituency of Workington in Cumbria—

“I am frequently asked about how to get insurance and within my duties as Chair I would also like to point out some local issues with Flood Re working against others in my community”.

She then goes on to comment on the issue of rented property and how that is affected:

“To not give guarantees to rented properties would affect some of the least well off in our town. Most of these are not covered by the Statement of Principles. Landlords’ insurance is currently commercial. The interesting issue will be whether the introduction of Flood Re will affect this market. One of the things I have been arguing for is that it should be mandatory for landlords to hold insurance and that this should cover flooding. That would be a significant improvement on the current situation. Housing associations tend to build on cheap land—flood plains. Thus here as, I suspect, in towns and cities throughout the UK, there are quite a few local occupancy and housing association homes in flood risk areas. But these are typically covered by commercial insurance”—

all excluded.

“Houses are expensive here and many locals can’t buy homes so they can ill afford high premiums—or no flood cover. Tenants will be covered by Flood Re for contents insurance, but my real concern is landlords not taking out insurance at all”.

That is because they are not included. We are not talking about vast commercial landlords, but the chap who buys the house next door or someone who buys something in the town which they may rent out.

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“In addition we have a significant amount of housing stock taken over to self-catering. This is a good point and needs thinking about. What proportion of that is covered by residential insurance rather than commercial? How much is currently covered by the Statement of Principles? How much of this would be at significant flood risk? Keswick relies on tourism and the surrounding area relies upon Keswick for the wealth visitors (national and international) bring. Are these also to be denied the chance of flood insurance?

I hope that you will take this information on board when you look at the future of flood insurance”.

Again, that is a group of people concerned about the absence of Flood Re cover.

6.15 pm

Finally, I want to draw on another piece of correspondence that has come from a man called Mr Donington-Smith, whom I know well—he is a member of a working party that I have been chairing on the arrangements for flooding in west Cumberland from Thirlmere. He lives on a road going down to Keswick called Penrith Road. He has written to comment on the classification of areas by the Environment Agency of the risk of flooding, which clearly affects property insurance. In other words, the EA draws up the maps and the insurance companies take them into account when they set their premiums. Of course, that must influence Flood Re. He writes:

“The classification of areas at risk seems highly illogical and is having an adverse effect on our ability to get flood risk cover for our holiday cottage”—

I have nearly finished. I must tell the House that I have spoken for 13 minutes and I know that I should limit my comments to 15 minutes. He also writes:

“This is the first year that the offer of cover has been withdrawn. We are still getting cover for our home, which is just a bit further down the road.

You just need to look at Townsfield to see how illogical the map is. It is marked as being at low risk (it should be at no risk whatsoever). Lydia’s Cottages is next to Townsfield and the cottages have never been flooded from the river since 1906 and heaven knows what happened before then. They were built in the 1850s. Our cottage is about 14ft above normal river level. The old washhouses at the back flooded in 2005 and 2009, but they are on much lower ground”.

I know that that might seem very small and trivial, but the fact is that that is what is going to happen out there. Thousands of people will find that they cannot get cover or that their cover will cost too much. All that I am bringing to the House today is the testimony of people who can see what will happen and are asking Parliament to be fully alerted, particularly as the Commons was unable to consider these matters.

Mr Donington-Smith explains where his cottage is. He writes:

“From my discussion with an insurance broker the insurance industry chooses to disregard the circumstances of individual properties and instead it makes its decisions based on specified areas. Local knowledge would appear to count for nothing. Information from the EA (including its flood risk maps, however inaccurate) are a major factor in their decision making, which is why accuracy is so important. Without this, whole areas are at risk of suffering needlessly from insurance blight with all of the associated problems.

It is not unreasonable to expect that, if nothing changes, we will also eventually suffer problems with our home at Greta Cottage”.

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All I am saying is that we stand on the eve of a huge problem. A lot of people who cannot afford insurance are going to be covered by it because they are excluded. When the Minister has this meeting, the ABI chappie will be there and I hope that Beverley Morris will be there to put the case for what I believe are thousands of people. We will then be able to observe what happens. I do not know at what stage this can all be reviewed but it has to be reviewed because a lot of people are going to suffer. I believe that it is the duty of Parliament to put in place legislation which makes sure that people who can ill afford it do not suffer. I beg to move.

The Earl of Lytton (CB): My Lords, I had not intended to intervene on this amendment but what the noble Lord, Lord Campbell-Savours, has said compels me to do so. That is because of the point that I made during earlier stages of the Bill: the question of insurance cover, or the lack of it, is not a lone entity as it also concerns the other financial structures that occur around property purchase and finance. I refer, of course, to mortgage lending because the existential risk of damage that might be covered by insurance is also an existential risk that affects mortgage lenders, as I explained previously. Because of the risks of default, mortgage lenders themselves wish to refinance or reinsure through the markets and the entire process becomes, to a degree, self-censoring.

The Minister has allowed me to belabour him fairly mercilessly with this principle and I realise that it lies, to a large degree, outside the scope of the Bill. However, it just so happens that it is also in consequence of what inclusion or exclusion from a construct such as Flood Re happens to expose. I come to this from the background of my profession as a chartered surveyor. I suppose that I ought also to declare that although I do not think that I have a property that has either suffered from flooding or is necessarily likely to be included in Flood Re in the first place, like other noble Lords, I of course have policies of insurance on properties, so I declare that interest.

The Minister was sympathetic during the last meeting I had with him, and I am very grateful for that meeting and for the listening ear that I encountered there from the Minister and his officials. To some extent, all one can do on that is wait and see. However, as it stands, the amendment from the noble Lord, Lord Campbell-Savours, highlights the very significant potential increases in insurance premiums that might need to be paid because of properties falling outside Flood Re but none the less being at some material risk. I am afraid to say that that material risk is a bit like the length of a piece of string. I think we debated this in Committee and the discussion then, which involved the noble Baroness, Lady Parminter, the noble Lord, Lord Krebs, who is no longer in his place, and the noble Lord, Lord Campbell-Savours, was very much about the mapping of the risk areas and just what you could or could not deduce from that process.

A more individual risk assessment is itself a slightly dangerous construct; when you consider that the whole purpose of insurance is to have a pool that spreads the risk, you might ask how far you want to move to an individual risk assessment. As we move towards that,

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though, the danger is that you are then forced to look in more and more detail at the geophysical and hydrological factors that affect individual properties. We supposed in Committee that there might be rather a postcode lottery; I drew attention to the fact that I had been sent a piece of an Ordnance Survey sheet that showed Environment Agency blue ink cutting right through the middle of a linear-shaped postcode area, which was effectively one half of an urban street. That just goes to show that all sorts of properties that might not be at particular risk themselves will be caught by this.

My worry is that this unravels the other aspects in respect of the views of mortgage lenders. If insurance premiums go up fivefold, clearly that will affect ability to pay. That ability to pay is not so much the generality of repayment on a mortgage, and it certainly is not so much the generality of what happens in the leafy south-east, particularly within the M25; rather, the problem is the static and relatively constrained values in other parts of the country where the year-on-year increase in value does not provide that cushion to fund not only the possibility that there will be a default on the mortgage but also the damage that might be caused in the event of a flood, so you have a double-whammy situation. My fear is that it will impact most severely on those areas that are already in challenging, relatively flat and not particularly growth-rich areas of the country, and I think we all know that there are plenty of such areas.

It is therefore right that there should be a constant review, and I believe that the Minister intends that there should be a regular monitoring of what goes on and what the fallout might be from these various factors. I am hopeful that he will be able to say that constant attention will be paid to this issue. I am less clear about whether it requires the doctrinal imposition of some formal review, but the thrust of the noble Lord, Lord Campbell-Savours, is certainly important, for the very reasons that he gave and for the other unintended consequences that would potentially flow from the uninsurability of particular properties.

6.30 pm

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I am grateful to my noble friend Lord Campbell-Savours for tabling the amendment and, more particularly, for reminding the House and the Government that at the end of Report there was still considerable confusion over inclusions and exclusions in Flood Re and, as the poignant examples that my noble friend has alluded to make clear, a considerable amount of alarm out there about the potential exclusion from insurance of leaseholders in particular but also of other groups of people who are not clear whether they are included or excluded. As the noble Earl, Lord Lytton, has just said, it is a question not just of insurance but of current and future mortgage and other loans that one can raise on the property, and it therefore has very profound effects.

As the noble Earl said, whether we need a review every year is one matter, but it is incumbent on the Government to say that we need this continually under review, and the only formal reference to review is every five years. This confusion and alarm need to be cleared

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up a lot sooner than in five years’ time. I hope the Minister can at least give some reassuring words to my noble friend that that will indeed be done.

Lord De Mauley: I thank the noble Lord, Lord Campbell-Savours, for his amendment and I thank him even more for reminding me that, in my excitement over my earlier amendments, I have so far omitted to declare my interests, and I should do so. I own a farm, through which a tributary of the River Thames runs, I have an extraction licence, a bore hole, a house which was flooded in 2007 and a minority stake in a lake. I am glad to put that on the record.

As I explained in previous debates, Flood Re will be subject to regular review. We expect these formal reviews will take place at least every five years. These formal reviews will need to consider the effectiveness of Flood Re in discharging its purpose and functions. Importantly, the reviews will also need to consider the levy and premium thresholds, particularly in relation to its capital model, which we debated in detail earlier in relation to the amendment from my noble friend.

The reviews will also need to consider Flood Re’s effectiveness in managing the transition to risk-reflective pricing over the operation of the scheme. As I said earlier, the secondary legislation will set out in more detail the points that Flood Re’s transition plan should cover. Flood Re will have to lay its accounts in Parliament on an annual basis, and its responsible officer will be directly accountable to Parliament. The Comptroller and Auditor-General will examine Flood Re’s economy, efficiency and effectiveness as well as its propriety and regularity.

It is also important to note that there is nothing to preclude the formal reviews taking place more frequently, which the noble Lord, Lord Whitty, asked me to confirm, should concerns be raised; for example, if it is seen that excessive surpluses are being built up.

I hope that it is clear that Flood Re is going to be regularly reviewed and closely scrutinised, but we need to strike a balance and, in particular, I am concerned about significant risks to the certainty and stability of Flood Re income if it is under constant review. Flood Re, the insurance industry and policyholders need to have some degree of certainty about its operation and Flood Re must be allowed to plan for transition accordingly. Insurance is a long-term business. An annual review of the scheme would be resource intensive and I am not clear what added value it would bring in addition to the current arrangements for parliamentary scrutiny.

In addition to the formal review process which will be carried out at least every five years, as I have described, both the Government and the Association of British Insurers have committed to monitoring the market for flood insurance and will publish the results of that monitoring.

Lord Campbell-Savours: Will the Minister ask his officials to contact the ABI and ask it, prior to our meeting, how it responds to the cases that I have brought forward of people who say that they cannot

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find insurance or that their insurance premiums rise five times over, or whatever? I would like to hear its response prior to the meeting.

Lord De Mauley: I will certainly do that. I, too, would like to hear the answer.

This ongoing monitoring will enable us to identify trends and any potential issues in the market, including in the leasehold sector, to which the noble Lord referred. We have discussed the rationale for the scope of Flood Re at length and in detail in your Lordships’ House. The design of Flood Re was guided by three principles: affordability, progressivity and fairness. We have been clear that Flood Re should not increase the cost of insurance for those at low or no flood risk so it is fair to all households. To achieve this, Flood Re will replicate the cross-subsidy that currently operates in the domestic market. The benefits of Flood Re will be targeted at lower council tax bands, where affordability is more likely to be an issue.

In previous debates, I have gone into some detail on the thought process behind the leasehold sector; if the noble Lord will forgive me, I will not reiterate those arguments. I am, as he knows, sorry to hear about the specific examples he cites. As I have said, I would be happy to speak to the ABI about the initial case to which he referred. It would be helpful to me to have some more details; perhaps we could discuss that.

The noble Lord also asked about the letter from Otto Thoresen. I am sorry that he feels that the assurances from the ABI are inadequate. We have previously asked for evidence of problems and, to date, have had nothing but anecdotal evidence. Again, however, if the noble Lord would like to share the details with me, that would be helpful and I would be happy to take the matter forward.

I have a number of notes here which deal with matters that we have dealt with at some length in earlier debates; I hope that noble Lords will forgive me if I do not simply reiterate old arguments. It might be helpful if I deal with the issue of maps, which some noble Lords have raised. It was probably the noble Lord, Lord Campbell-Savours, who asked what happens if a property is not proven to be at risk. If a home owner has evidence that the maps do not accurately reflect their level of risk, they can provide it to their lead local flood authority or the Environment Agency for review.

There was a complaint that it takes too long for the Environment Agency to update maps and then share them with insurers. The Environment Agency—and I see the chairman in his place—revises the rivers and sea flood risk maps on a quarterly basis. It is possible that some insurers do not choose to receive updates as regularly as that, which could explain the time lag that some people have experienced. It almost always pays to shop around or to contact a specialist broker to explore ways of reducing premiums. This is important: there is a competitive market in the United Kingdom which will and does help to keep prices low. From personal experience, I know that different insurers take different approaches to pricing risk, which is, as I say, why people should be encouraged to shop around. One of the benefits of Flood Re is that it enables the

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provision of claims data from the insurance industry to the Environment Agency to help improve risk mapping in the future.

Under the statement of principles, people had to stay with their existing insurer to benefit. Therefore, they were prevented from shopping around for the best price—something I have been going on about at some length. Once Flood Re is up and running, people will be able to shop around, with those in scope knowing the maximum they should expect to pay for the flood risk part of their premium. Insurers have estimated that only 1% to 2% of the market would expect to pay prices higher than the proposed premium thresholds which were set out in the impact assessment. These are the people who will need Flood Re. The majority of the market is expected to be covered by prices lower than those offered through Flood Re. I hope that that is helpful and that, on that basis, the noble Lord will feel able to withdraw his amendment.

Lord Campbell-Savours: I thank the noble Lord for his response. I do not want to detain the House. As I say, we will have to come back to these matters in the future. I hope that, in light of what the Minister said, he will be looking for further information. Those who are watching this debate on the internet might well send me their concerns about it, and I will forward them to the Minister. On that basis, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 15 withdrawn.

Amendment 16

Moved by Lord De Mauley

16: Clause 55, page 111, line 3, leave out “or” and insert “and”

Lord De Mauley: My Lords, I have tabled four minor changes to strengthen and correct the Bill. I will run through them quickly.

Amendment 16 to Clause 55 provides certainty to the National Audit Office that, when auditing Flood Re, it is able to consider the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which the scheme administrator has used its resources and the propriety and regularity of the scheme together and at the same time. Amendment 17 is intended to ensure that, in the unlikely event of the transfer of the scheme, employment contracts will be transferrable where they might otherwise not be. This reflects, in Clause 56, powers which are present in Clause 71(4)(a) in relation to the winding up of Flood Re at the end of its lifetime. Amendments 19 and 20 correct a numbering error in the Water Industry Act 1991. Section 12(3D) was inserted by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 and unfortunately included the incorrect reference to Section 16B. Amendment 20 changes this reference to read “14B”. I will be happy to provide any further clarification if any noble Lord wishes me to do so.

I believe it is customary at this juncture to say a few words to place on record my thanks to all noble Lords who contributed to the debates on the Bill and to the hardworking officials who have laboured long over it as well. I extend special thanks to my noble friend

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Lady Northover for ably supporting me at the Dispatch Box and in many ways throughout the course of the Bill. I am very grateful for the detailed scrutiny the Water Bill has received from your Lordships. It leaves this House genuinely in better shape than when it arrived. I beg to move.

Lord Mackay of Clashfern (Con): My Lords, Amendment 17 refers to the “pension liabilities of staff”. Does that mean the pension liabilities incurred in respect of pensions to be paid to the staff?

Lord De Mauley: Yes, my Lords.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I thank the Minister for these amendments and for his explanation. I will not oppose any of these amendments, as he is no doubt gratified to hear. I will make two points, one of disappointment and the other of praise.

The disappointment is that among amendments brought forward by the Government at this stage are not those that relate to clarifying the position on abstraction reform and on providing some greater assurance on affordability of water bills. Whoever is in government in the next couple of years must address those two issues with some degree of urgency. It is a pity that we did not manage that in the Bill.

My praise, like the Minister’s, goes to his officials, who undoubtedly gave us a lot of information at the beginning of the Bill and put up with all our idiot child questions throughout the Bill. We made considerable progress, even today. I thank the Minister and the noble Baroness, Lady Northover, for their patience.

Amendment 16 agreed.

Clause 56: Replacement of the scheme or administrator

Amendment 17

Moved by Lord De Mauley

17: Clause 56, page 112, line 11, after “liabilities” insert “(whether or not otherwise capable of being transferred, and including pension liabilities of staff)”

Amendment 17 agreed.

Schedule 7: Further amendments

Amendments 18 to 20

Moved by Lord De Mauley

18: Schedule 7, page 179, line 28, leave out “section” and insert “any of sections (Retail exit: non-household premises) to”

19: Schedule 7, page 180, line 1, after “appointment)” insert “—

( ) ”

20: Schedule 7, page 180, line 4, at end insert—

“( ) in subsection (3D), for “16B” there is substituted “14B”.”

Amendments 18 to 20 agreed.

Bill passed and returned to the Commons with amendments.

House adjourned at 6.43 pm.