I welcome members of the Committee to the start of our proceedings on the Finance Bill. I have a couple of housekeeping points to make. Jackets may be removed. Will hon. Members ensure that their pagers are switched off? They will have noticed the red boxes. They may keep their Bill papers in them, but will they please return them to the cupboard after each sitting?
I remind the Committee that adequate notice should be given of the intention to table amendments. As a rule, my fellow Chairman and I do not intend to call starred amendments, including any that might be reached during an afternoon sitting of the Committee.
I beg to move,
That the Committee shall meet
(a) on Tuesdays at 10.30 a.m. and 4.30 p.m., and
(b) on Thursdays (other than Thursday 4 June) at 9.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m., when the House is sitting.
Thank you, Mr. Atkinson, for your welcome. I wish to take the opportunity to say a few words. I extend a warm welcome to you and to your co-Chairman, Mr. Hood. We welcome the experience and the knowledge that you will bring to our proceedings, as well as your firmness and fairness. I am confident that you will guide us so that our deliberations are thorough and to the point. I welcome Mr. Laurence Smyth, who will be assisting the Committee. I also welcome the hon. Members for Fareham, for South-West Hertfordshire and for Hammersmith and Fulham, and other members of the Conservative party who will be supporting them, particularly those who will be serving on the Committee for the first time. We shall be spending a lot of time together during the next few weeks.
I also welcome the hon. Member for Taunton to our proceedings. I am pleased that I shall be stoutly supported throughout our debates by my hon. Friends the Exchequer Secretary and the Economic Secretary, who I am delighted to see here. I know that they will want to join me in welcoming my hon. Friends on the Labour Benches to the Committee and to express warm thanks to them in anticipation of our progress.
I wish to put on the record my thanks to the many advisers and representatives who have already given advice throughout the preparation of the Bill. We shall obviously be welcoming further contributions from them as we scrutinise it in greater depth during the next few weeks. They do a great deal of work and make an important contribution to our task. I look forward to our deliberations as we fulfil our duties in examining the Bill in Committee.
I also welcome you, Mr. Atkinson, and your co-Chairman, Mr. Hood, to the proceedings. The Financial Secretary and I are veterans of proceedings on the Finance Bill. This is my fourth Bill as a Front Bencher. I participated in proceedings in 2002 as a Back Bencher, so I know what a long haul we have in front of us. I have not quite reached the record established by the Financial Secretarys predecessor, the right hon. Member for Bristol, South (Dawn Primarolo). She dealt with 13 Finance Bills in Opposition as well as in Government, a record in longevity to which I am not entirely sure that I aspire.
Our proceedings are perhaps the less glamorous aspect of the Budget. All the excitement of Budget day is over and done with. We have moved from a Committee of the whole House to a Public Bill Committee, and the fact that our proceedings are not programmed will give all members of the Committee the chance to explore at length the provisions of the Bill. Labour Members who did not take part in the debate on the Finance Bill in the House will now have the opportunity to voice their concerns about aspects of it. I am disappointed that the hon. Members for Wolverhampton, South-West (Rob Marris) and for Coventry, North-West (Mr. Robinson), the most assiduous participants when the Bill was discussed in the Committee of the whole House, have not found favour with the usual channels to serve here, but perhaps their absence will enable other Labour Members to shine and flourish in the confines of this room.
We are about to undertake an important scrutiny process The Financial Secretary said on the Floor of the House and by letter that the Government would table amendments. It is important to get the Bill right and to approach it with the rigour and seriousness that a Bill affecting so many people requires. I am grateful, as the Financial Secretary is, to the support of House advisers, who give up their time voluntarily to help inform us and to make sure that the scrutiny process is effective. I am grateful to my hon. Friends for joining us in Committee and I am sure that we shall do battle with the Treasury Bench and Labour MPs in a generous and well-spirited way.
That the order in which proceedings are taken shall be: Clauses 1 to 5; Schedule 1; Clause 6; Schedules 2 and 3; Clauses 10, 12, and 13; Schedule 4; Clauses 15 and 17; Schedule 5; Clauses 18, 19 and 21 to 23; Schedule 6; Clauses 24 to 26; Schedule 7; Clause 27; Schedule 8; Clause 28; Schedule 9; Clause 29; Schedule 10; Clause 30; Schedule 11; Clause 31; Schedule 12; Clause 32; Schedule 13; Clauses 33 and 34; Schedule 14; Clause 35; Schedule 15; Clause 36; Schedule 16; Clause 37; Schedule 17; Clause 38; Schedule 18; Clauses 39 and 40; Schedule 19; Clause 41; Schedule 20; Clauses 42 and 43; Schedule 21; Clause 44; Schedule 22; Clauses 45 and 46; Schedule 23; Clauses 47 and 48; Schedule 24; Clause 49; Schedule 25; Clause 50; Schedule 26; Clause 51; Schedule 27; Clauses 52 and 53; Schedule 28; Clauses 54 to 58; Schedule 29; Clauses 59 to 61; Schedule 30; Clause 62; Schedule 31; Clause 63; Schedule 32; Clause 64; Schedule 33; Clause 65; Schedule 34; Clauses 66 to 71; Schedule 35; Clauses 72 to 75; Schedule 36; Clauses 76 to 82; Schedule 37; Clause 83; Schedule 38; Clause 84; Schedule 39; Clause 85; Schedule 40; Clause 86; Schedule 41; Clause 87; Schedule 42; Clause 88; Schedule 43; Clause 89; Schedule 44; Clause 90; Schedule 45; Clause 91; Schedule 46; Clauses 93 and 94; Schedule 47; Clause 95; Schedule 48; Clause 96; Schedule 49; Clause 97; Schedule 50; Clause 98; Schedule 51; Clause 99; Schedule 52; Clause 100; Schedule 53; Clause 101; Schedule 54; Clauses 102 to 105; Schedule 55; Clause106; Schedule 56; Clauses 107 and 108; Schedule 57; Clause 109; Schedule 58; Clauses 110 to 117; Schedule 59; Clause 118; Schedule 60; Clauses 119 to 122; Schedule 61; Clauses 123 and 124; new Clauses; new Schedules; Clauses 125 and 126.(Mr. Timms.)