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Peter Atkinson: It may be more convenient for the Committee to debate clause 6 in tandem with schedule 2. I do not know whether that will create problems. If it is difficult, we shall discuss them separately.
Peter Atkinson: In that case, I will accept a wide-ranging debate on clause 6, and we can deal with the more technical matters under schedule 2. I hope that everyone finds that suitable.
Peter Atkinson: We anticipate Divisions in the House during our proceedings this afternoon. If there are Divisions, I will suspend the Committee for 15 minutes for the first Division, and a further 15 if there is a second.
Peter Atkinson: Clause 5 is a one-line clause that introduces schedule 1. Both clause and schedule relate to the abolition of personal reliefs for non-residents. It might be more convenient for the Committee to have a general debate as if those two things were being considered together under clause 5, as long as that does not cause any problems.
Peter Atkinson: Order. I wish to clear some confusion in my mind. The hon. Gentleman can speak to clause 3 stand part—the entire clause—at this moment. We are not debating only the new clause; we are debating the whole thing. I was not sure whether he was clear on that.
Peter Atkinson: At the end of this debate we will put the question whether clause 3 should stand part of the Bill. There will be no division on the new clause; if there is to be one, it will be much later in our proceedings.
Peter Atkinson: indicated dissent.
Peter Atkinson: With this it will be convenient to discuss new clause 2—Personal allowances for 2009-10 for those aged over 65 ‘(1) For the tax year 2009-10 the amount specified in— (a) section 36 of ITA 2007, and (b) section 257(2) of ICTA, (personal allowance for those aged 65 to 74) is replaced with “£11,490”. (2) For the tax year 2009-10 the amount specified in— (a) section...
Peter Atkinson: That is not a point of order for me, but something that the hon. Member for Taunton might wish to explain.
Peter Atkinson: Order. Before the amendment is withdrawn, does the Minister want to respond to that point?
Peter Atkinson: 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...
Peter Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the likely effects on the income of hill farmers of European Commission proposals to modify the criteria which define less favoured areas; if he will make it his policy to seek amendment of those proposals to ensure that the income of hill farmers is not reduced by modification of those...
Peter Atkinson: One of the curious things about my parliamentary career and that of my hon. Friend the Member for East Surrey (Mr. Ainsworth) is that people continually get us mixed up. Over the years, each of us has frequently received letters addressed to the other. So when I recently got a letter congratulating me on introducing the Green Energy (Definition and Promotion) Bill, I felt that I ought to...
Peter Atkinson: Order. Four hon. Members wish to speak, and the winding-up speeches should start in about 20 minutes, so, by my mathematics, that means about five minutes each.
Peter Atkinson: Order. I inform hon. Members that we normally start the wind-ups about midday. I see that about six Members wish to speak, so perhaps they could bear in mind the advice of the hon. Member for Mitcham and Morden (Siobhain McDonagh) and keep their speeches short.
Peter Atkinson: I call the Minister.
Peter Atkinson: I call Mr. James Paice. I beg your pardon, Mr. Paice. First, I call Tim Farron.
Peter Atkinson: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday's Order Paper included a meeting of the new Select Committee on North East Regional Affairs, but there is no mention of it in today's Votes and Proceedings. I subsequently discovered that it could not meet because it was inquorate, and that the quorum was only three. Surely if a Committee of that kind could not proceed, the fact that it was...
Peter Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to publish the draft Floods and Water Bill.
Peter Atkinson: It is.