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Peter Atkinson: On the subject of Dairy Farmers of Britain, it is good news that most of the suppliers, particularly in north-east England, are finding new contracts, but could the Minister say anything about the future of the processing plant in Blaydon, near Newcastle? That is the only processing plant in the north-east region, and if it closes, dairy farmers in the region will face very high transport...
Peter Atkinson: The hon. Gentleman has been talking about investing in sustainable and rural communities. Northumberland county council, which covers one of the most sparse rural counties in England, is now run by the Liberal Democrats. Can the hon. Gentleman explain why it is closing all old people's day centres there?
Peter Atkinson: Does my hon. Friend agree that one of the things that annoys people in rural areas is the cheaper rate offered by the utility companies for customers on a dual fuel tariff? If only one fuel—electricity—is available in a rural area, the people who live there cannot benefit from those discounts.
Peter Atkinson: First, may I congratulate the Minister of State on his appointment to his new job? We have over the years come across each other from time to time in this House, and normally our encounters have been good-humoured, and I hope that continues. His predecessor the right hon. Member for Liverpool, Wavertree (Jane Kennedy) has just left the Chamber, but I want to thank her as well. She managed...
Peter Atkinson: Order. I do not think that we will go any further down that route.
Peter Atkinson: Order. The hon. Gentleman did mention clause 56, but he is nevertheless straying wide of the clause. I would be grateful if he came back to the matter at hand.
Peter Atkinson: Order. I am quite happy to give some latitude, but the hon. Gentleman is now taking liberties.
Peter Atkinson: Order. The hon. Gentleman is trying my patience. I urge him to keep to the essence of clause 56, which is about double taxation relief for MEPs.
Peter Atkinson: Order. Nice try, but no good.
Peter Atkinson: Order. We are straying again. The clause is to do with tax.
Peter Atkinson: I think it is a suitable word and I hope the hon. Gentleman does not feel too offended. I am sure he is robust enough.
Peter Atkinson: Order. Before the hon. Gentleman intervenes, I say that the Chair is motivated by wishing to discuss clause 56. I think that we had perhaps better leave the motivations of MEPs to one side.
Peter Atkinson: Order. I think that honours are even in this respect.
Peter Atkinson: It might be convenient for the Committee to treat this as one debate on a technical matter, rather than to debate the amendment and then clause stand part.
Peter Atkinson: With this it will be convenient to discuss Government amendments 209 to 212.
Peter Atkinson: We are discussing clause 61, which introduces schedule 30. It would be perhaps more convenient for the Committee to discuss them together, given that clause 61 is simply a one-line clause introducing schedule 30. The Chair is content with that.
Peter Atkinson: I remind the Committee that with this we are discussing the following: amendment 203, in schedule 35, page 280, line 39, leave out sub-paragraph (2). Amendment 204, in schedule 35, page 291, line 7, at end insert ‘but this Schedule shall not apply where the individual concerned is aged 50 or over at some time in the tax years 2009-10 and 2010-11.’.
Peter Atkinson: With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: amendment 182, in schedule 35, page 283, line 40, after ‘paid’, insert ‘under this sub-paragraph or under sub-paragraph (3A)’. Amendment 190, in schedule 35, page 284, line 3, leave out ‘a quarterly’ and insert ‘an annual’. Amendment 183, in schedule 35, page 284, line 11, at end insert—...
Peter Atkinson: Amendment not moved.
Peter Atkinson: With this it will be convenient to discuss amendment 261, in clause 81, page 43, leave out lines 8 to 11.