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Clause 12

Volume 301: debated on Monday 24 November 1997

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

I accept entirely that the matter may not be elaborated until after the referendum and that no money will be spent before then, but it would be helpful to know what the Minister's advisers suggest that the expenditure in connection with the referendum will be. Someone must have done an estimate. This does not depend on the boundary commission; it involves setting up the arrangements for the referendum. A ballpark figure would interest those who read our proceedings.

If the hon. Gentleman refers to the explanatory memorandum, he will find that we have already indicated that we expect a maximum provision of about £20 million for preparatory arrangements for bringing the new authority into existence. Once again, no expenditure will be incurred until after a positive vote in a referendum. On that basis, I hope that the hon. Gentleman is satisfied.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 12 ordered to stand part of the Bill.