Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 8:55 am on 17th June 2003.
On a point of order, Sir Nicholas. I wish to raise two matters. First, I express my sorrow that no one was willing to join me in the all-night party, which would have been very brief, so that we could all be here on time this morning after the late sitting last night.
My other point is much more substantial. You will notice, Sir Nicholas, that my former opposite number, the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Sutcliffe), is not in his place this morning. I am not complaining that he is not here. He has been whisked away. If nothing else, Whips look after their own, and it would be very unkind of me not to congratulate him on his new post. The only sorrow in his elevation is that a man of such ability would better have been sent to do a job of work for a decent Government rather than the one to which he has been sent.
I am extremely grateful to the hon. Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire). It was remiss of me not to congratulate the hon. Member for Bradford, South on his promotion, and we wish him well with his new responsibilities.
The hon. Member for Spelthorne also enables me to say that two or three people whom I bumped into this morning said that last night was like the good old times, but I suspect that views in the Committee on that matter may well be very mixed.
Further to that point of order, Sir Nicholas. May I thank the hon. Member for Spelthorne for summing up the best wishes of the Committee to my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, who was the Government Whip? I am sure that the Committee also wishes to congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Gravesham (Mr. Pond) on his appointment as Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. He is also unable to be with us this morning. We shall all miss him greatly, particularly me, but I am sure that, with your guidance, Sir Nicholas, we can proceed through the last stages of the Bill in the same way as our business has been conducted thus far.
I am grateful to the Paymaster General for those remarks. I am sure that the Committee joins her in congratulating the hon. Member for Gravesham. I seem to be the only one who has not received promotion. [Hon. Members: ''Shame.''] I have lived with that for many years, and no doubt will continue to do so.Clause 143 PAYE on notional payments: reimbursement period