Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:15 pm on 20th May 2003.
Before I call the hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs, may I tell the Committee that the Chairman has maintained his weight loss? To show that I have been there, I am prepared to give the Government spokesman, the spokesman for the official Opposition and the Liberal Democrat spokesman some sugar-free fruit gums with sweeteners, courtesy of WeightWatchers.
First, Sir Nicholas, I am glad to see that you have not lost so much weight that we do not recognise you.
We have explored the clause fully and have clarified it. The guidance notes do not quite make it clear what it is about, but I think that the balance of opinion is that it blocks up a scheme that needs to be blocked up. It contains a substantial penal element, and there is debate on whether such matters should be proportionate, but we do not wish to press the amendment to a vote. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Clause 163 ordered to stand part of the Bill.