Counting votes on your behalf
Not amended, in the Standing Committee, considered.
I beg to move amendment No. 1, in page 2, line 26, after 'repayments,' insert--
'(ia) such terms relating to the interest to be borne by the loan,'.
Amendment agreed to.
Amendments made: No. 2, in page 2, line 31, at end insert--
Order for Third Reading read.
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.
I stress that the Bill does not deal with measures arising from the Dearing report or the Government's response to it. It relates solely to the student loan book and the debt that we intend to sell on to the private sector.
As my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer made clear in the Budget on 2 July, we intend to raise £1.6 billion from the sale of part of the student loans debt in this financial year, to be followed by a further £1.5 billion in the next financial year. We have ensured that the changes introduced by the Bill will not adversely affect students. The key terms of the loans will be frozen to protect student borrowers, and we shall retain an independent assessor to deal with any complaints from students. Because the loans will become commercial agreements, they will be subject to both consumer and data protection legislation. Minimum collection standards will be laid down in the sale agreement. Borrowers with a disability are presently treated as a special case, and that will continue.
The Bill will protect students, and it also reaffirms the Government's firm commitment to sound public finance. The sale proceeds of more than £3 billion will be used to meet the Government's expenditure commitments, including those in higher education. The Bill will help to support our education plans based on raising standards, extending access and high quality provision. I commend it to the House.
Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:--
The House divided: Ayes 283, Noes 24.
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