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New Clause 3 - Complementary Gift Aid for small donations to small charities

Part of Small Charitable Donations Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:00 pm on 30th October 2012.

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Photo of Cathy Jamieson Cathy Jamieson Shadow Minister (Treasury) 5:00 pm, 30th October 2012

Further to that point of order, Mr Robertson. I, too, would like to add my thanks to everyone who has participated in the Committee and in getting us to a fairly speedy conclusion, given that we could have spent a great deal more time deliberating on the detail of certain clauses. It has been the Minister’s first opportunity to take a Bill through Committee, but I understand that he is about to move on to the next one, when he and I will face each other across the Committee Room yet again, discussing something else in the not too distant future.

Mr Robertson, I thank you and Mr Turner for some excellent chairing. You allowed us, as the Minister said, to explore the wide range of issues that needed to be explored; none the less, you kept us to task when we were in danger of drifting slightly too far from the clauses.

I add my thanks to the Committee Clerks and to the Hansard reporters, in particular when they had to make sense of some hastily scribbled notes or even of no notes at all. I thank the doorkeepers and police, whom, as the Minister correctly said, we did not give too much to do. I also thank everyone who has worked behind the scenes on the Bill to ensure that the Minister had inspiration when necessary and could bring forward information when we needed it.

I wanted to make special mention of the parliamentary draftsmen and women. I think I made a few references to them during the discussion, but I would not want them to think that that was intended as any personal criticism. I understand what a difficult and complex job it is to ensure that we have a Bill drafted in a form that allows us to take things forward.

Again as the Minister alluded to—I am beginning to worry that I am agreeing with him too much, and that we seem to be thinking along similar lines—the Bill has led us to discussions about not only Kafka but, in the early stages, Alice in Wonderland, which worried me slightly. I was relieved when we moved on to Eton and the 2nd Bromsgrove Scout Group, which seemed to become the focus of things in the real world rather than in our imaginations.

I thank the groups and individuals who gave evidence and provided briefings and real-life examples of why we needed to work to improve the Bill. The same applies to Members in all parts of the House. I thank the members of the Committee, not least my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow West, who gave us a record 17,000 words on a particularly complex part of the Bill—a feat that I was not able to match in any shape or form.

We have had an excellent series of sittings. The opportunity to consider all the issues relating to the devolved Administrations has also been important, and it has been useful to have Committee members who understood that. On that note, the Committee has shown that when we work together, we are better together.