Enterprise Bill [Lords] — [1st Allocated Day]: New Schedule 1 — Bodies excluded from the restrictions on public sector exit payments (8 Mar 2016)

I rise to speak to amendment 18, which is in my name and that of my hon. Friend Hannah Bardell. The amendment perfectly complements amendment 15, which would add specific protections to part 9. As Kevin Brennan said, as it stands, and given the rhetoric accompanying it, part 9 is a classic populist move by the Tory Government. They are playing up to the perception of fat cats, saying that people get huge pay-outs that are not comparable with private industry pay-outs, but they are not taking account of long-serving, lower-paid workers.

As I have implied, there is a lot of smoke and mirrors behind this scheme. The £95,000 cap includes pension payments that go not to the workers, but to the pension funds, including in the form of strain contributions for those on ill-health retirement. It is absolutely amoral that somebody who has to retire on the grounds of ill health, having worked hard, perhaps in a manual job, will have their pension capped because of this scheme.

I really do not understand how the Government cannot recognise the impact of the scheme. It was interesting that the House of Lords asked for an impact assessment, but it was not forthcoming. Back Benchers have asked the shadow Minister about the impact, but it is not for Opposition Members to provide that; it is the Government’s responsibility to do so at the outset.