(Except clauses 4, 19, 23, 26 to 29, 87 to 92, 131 and 134 and schedules 1, 5 and 38) - Clause 132 - Mandatory e-filing

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 25th June 2002.

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Photo of Mr Howard Flight Mr Howard Flight Conservative, Arundel and South Downs 4:30 pm, 25th June 2002

I thank the Paymaster General for giving way. I hope that exchanges will not become acrimonious where she does not agree with me. My hon. Friend the Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow) and I referred to her letter, which clearly stated that the Government did not intend to force, require or oblige people to file electronically. What happened to that? There has been a sudden change. As most of us made clear, some 95 per cent. of businesses are likely to want to use electronic methods to file their returns. It is therefore balderdash that not making it compulsory will wreck the project. Will the Paymaster General say how she has reconciled stated Government policy some 18 months ago with today's volte-face?