House of Lords (Members' Taxation Status) Bill [HL]
Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay (Liberal Democrat)
I am happy to respond to that but I am trying to answer the first amendment. I am happy to accept—indeed, it was the whole point of the article—that the noble Viscount, Lord Astor, is close to David Cameron, but I hope that I may make the key point that I was trying to make, particularly to the noble Lord, Lord Strathclyde, but also to other noble Lords who have spoken, almost entirely from the Conservative Benches. That is why this debate is not a fair reflection—as when we had a vote in the previous Session—of views all round the Committee, because we have hardly started to have a proper discussion on the substance. The point is that we are not seeking to change anyone's taxation status. All we are saying is that if you make the laws in this country, you pay the tax. We are not making anyone, wherever they come from, change their status; we are asking that they pay. That is why I am afraid that the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Selsdon, fascinating though it is, is entirely misconceived and entirely misses the point, and I am not prepared to accept it.