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Amendment 4

Part of Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill [HL] - Committee – in the House of Lords at 5:15 pm on 9th July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Rooker Lord Rooker Labour 5:15 pm, 9th July 2019

When my noble friend on the Front Bench invited the Minister to make a name for himself, I was reminded of an occasion in early 2002, when I was young in this House and the Home Office Minister. At the Dispatch Box in a debate, I was challenged by someone on the opposition side. My answer was that, in my short, five-year experience as a Minister the Treasury had wrecked every good idea I had come across. An exchange took place between my boss—now my noble friend Lord Blunkett—and the Chancellor. I survived another six years as a Minister, but I was never invited to join the Treasury team. When these things get discussed we are always told, “It’s the Treasury; you cannot touch it”. Then, on Budget Day, the Chancellor stands up and says something that the department had no idea was coming. It is a good idea, so it is for the Chancellor to own. In this case, we are out of scope for the Budget, but this gives an opportunity. If it is a bad idea, you do not do it: that is the idea of a pilot and the opportunity for a pilot in taxation does not come along very often.

I do not want to set hares running, but I have a feeling that this would not go amiss in a couple of the national parks. There are sometimes complaints that there is no gateway or passport for visitors to them; hotels are the means of extra revenue. As I say, the broader the tax base, the less high taxes have to be. This is an opportunity for a pilot. We will obviously seek further and better particulars and come back on Report, when this might be worth looking at further. In the meantime, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 4 withdrawn.

Clause 1 agreed.

Amendment 5 not moved.