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Business Rate Supplements Bill

– in a Public Bill Committee on 27th January 2009.

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[Mr. Peter Atkinson in the Chair]

BRS 05 City of London Corporation

Photo of Peter Atkinson Peter Atkinson Conservative, Hexham 10:30 am, 27th January 2009

After our evidence sessions of last week, we now move to more familiar territory.

Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Conservative, Cities of London and Westminster

On a point of order, Mr. Atkinson. I appreciate that the nature of the Bill means that there is no formal programme motion debate, and I seek your guidance on how we might address a particular issue. As you are aware, the Bill has had some high-profile attention as a result of news stories in the press. Will I be able to ask the Minister for Local Government whether he has been approached by Members of the other place about the matters before us?

Photo of Peter Atkinson Peter Atkinson Conservative, Hexham

Order. I must stop the hon. Gentleman. The Programming Sub-Committee has set a timetable for this Committee. The matter that he raises has absolutely nothing to do with the contents of the Bill.

Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Conservative, Cities of London and Westminster

Further to that point of order, Mr. Atkinson. I do not wish to criticise the Chair or answer back, but my point is relevant. The Government—like any Government—are well aware that they can get their business through the Commons without any great difficulty. Therefore, we go through the whole process that we have seen in the Commons. The concern is that in the Lords, where there is no majority—at least as the Lords is currently constituted—amendments can be tabled that have a lot more sway than is, perhaps, the case here. That is the reason why I wish to put the issue on the record.

Photo of Peter Atkinson Peter Atkinson Conservative, Hexham

Order. It is clear that nothing in the Bill is relevant to what the hon. Gentleman is saying. As to what happens in another place, that is up to another place, and is equally irrelevant. I appreciate what he is trying to do, but it is not in order.