Clause 26 - Impersonation

Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 13 January 2005.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of John Healey John Healey The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

I rise because it may be useful if, before the Committee looks at clauses 26, 27 and 28, I say a few words about the general principles that underline the clause and the other offences. [Interruption.] I do so because I regard this as an important part of the Bill. It is at least as important as the question of rewards, which we rightly discussed at length earlier.

Photo of Andrew Tyrie Andrew Tyrie Shadow Paymaster General

We have only two and a half hours left for scrutiny of the Bill, and we Opposition Members want to raise a number of important points that arise later in the Bill. We have already discussed this   informally, and we have made it clear that we will not contest the clauses. I find it perplexing that the Economic Secretary should want to read material on to the record when he could perfectly well publish it.

Photo of Mr Alan Hurst Mr Alan Hurst Labour, Braintree

Order. I am not entirely certain whether that is an intervention or a point of order, but it is a matter for Members to decide when they wish to speak, provided that it is in order in terms of the Bill.

Photo of John Healey John Healey The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

Thank you, Mr. Hurst. The hon. Gentleman will be aware that, at present, Customs and Excise and the Revenue have different provisions and penalties for the offences of impersonating, obstructing, and assaulting an officer. In a single integrated department, there is no justification for treating one group of staff differently from another. Accordingly, clauses 26, 27 and 28 propose common consolidated provisions across the whole of HMRC. I hope that that general and brief introduction to this set of clauses is helpful to the Committee.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 26 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 27 and 28 ordered to stand part of the Bill.