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Orders of the Day — Finance Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:20 pm on 20th April 2004.

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Photo of Robert Smith Robert Smith Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Commons) 2:20 pm, 20th April 2004

Not long ago the Prime Minister as leader of the Labour party chose to abolish a different clause IV. Now through clause 4 of the Finance Bill the Government are imposing a burden on the whisky industry that I am not convinced will tackle the problem that they seek to address. Can the Chief Secretary clarify how he means to help operators who have small production lines and therefore cannot necessarily predict whether their bottles will need stamps for the internal market or no stamps for export? That will impose added burdens and costs not just on the cash flow through the acquisition of stamps, but on the production line. The measure will be a burden on all operators, but for the small operators especially, the stamp could be a particular difficulty in the management of their business.