Clause 17 - Requirement of evidence or security

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 15th May 2003.

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Photo of Stephen O'Brien Stephen O'Brien Shadow Paymaster General 4:15 pm, 15th May 2003

The hon. Gentleman puts it succinctly, appropriately and accurately. I am grateful for the support and consensus. I realise that, ultimately, if the Government wish to whip their vote, we are outnumbered. However, it is our duty to challenge attempts to pass other than proper and good law. I sense­perhaps I am overoptimistic­that some of my arguments have struck a chord with Labour Members. I do not say that they agree with me entirely, but they recognise that the issues are genuine and that it would be appropriate for the Minister to acknowledge that there was a chance to look at a review.

In the absence of an offer from the Government to table their own amendments on Report, we must press the matter to a vote for no reason other than to stress the importance of recognising that the Government's case has not been made. We must register our disapproval on behalf of all citizens and taxpayers whom we represent, as well as the professional bodies who have made such thorough representations to us.