(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 5:15 pm on 25th June 2002.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 5:15 pm, 25th June 2002

I appreciate what the Paymaster General has just said. I am reluctant to dwell on the point of difference, but I refer to it as there is a difference between us. I do not accept that the negative procedure alone allows for the meeting of grievances, or that the affirmative procedure, which Opposition Members generally prefer as it allows debate, somehow does not allow a person to address them. However, I respect the fact that the Government have chosen to proceed in this way. The result is what matters, not the technique used.

I am bound to say that I am pleasantly surprised and considerably encouraged by the Paymaster General's remarks, as I hope that members of the Brethren will be. We will keenly attend to the discussions that the hon. Lady and her officials will have with members of the Brethren. She has put it on the record in unmistakable terms that she wants to meet their concern, and I am prepared to take her at her word. She knows that I will probably bestir myself to raise the matter again in future, perhaps at length and with some vigour if I feel that the pledge has been broken. I know that she would not entertain that scenario with any enthusiasm. I shall take her at her word and beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.