HL Deb 19 July 1988 vol 499 cc1205-6

5 Clause 16, page 12, line 7, leave out 'a lump sum' and insert 'one or more capital sums'.

6 Clause 16, page 12, line 11, leave out 'lump' and insert 'capital'.

The Lord Chancellor

My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 5 and 6. It has always been the case that if a person suddenly acquired additional capital resources—for example, from an inheritance—during the time he was receiving legal aid but after the initial means assessment, his means will be re-assessed and he might be either ruled out of scope and have his certificate discharged or be required to pay an additional contribution from his new capital.

We intend that that position should continue, and that has always been our intention. These provisions were altered to take account of considerations raised as the Bill was going through Parliament. As a result, there is some doubt as to whether reference in the Bill to a lump sum in relation to capital would enable us to make that sort of sensible modification.

The first amendment puts it beyond doubt that in some circumstances more than one capital contribution may be required. The second amendment is a drafting change to reflect the language of the first amendment. With your Lordships' agreement, I put these two amendments together.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 5 and 6. —(The Lord Chancellor.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.