Is my hon. Friend aware that that bizarre proposal, tucked into the back end of a newspaper on 25 January by an Opposition spokesman, would cause total chaos and huge problems for companies making such a change, particularly small companies? It would mean devastating expense in terms of new software and the reprogramming of computers. Would my hon. Friend care to comment on the chaos proposed by the Labour party?
The proposal would cause a huge administrative burden not only on business—the necessity to give businesses good notice would take some time—but on the DSS and the Inland Revenue. It would also mean massive computer reprogramming and possibly the expense of other computer programmes which would have to be introduced.
Where are the Members of the Scottish National party if they are so concerned about the matter? As for the unlikely event that the hon. Gentleman sketched, he may wish to test that policy with members of the SNP to find out precisely how such a system would work. Although I am always prepared to enter discussions with the hon. Gentleman about hypothetical matters, one must also balance the amount of time and expense that it would take to comment on something that is not a reality.