Professor Ross Cranston: Some of the Opposition call for fiscal tightening; some are against it. I cannot work it out. Perhaps my hon. Friend can help me.
Professor Ross Cranston: What discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on his policy to spend the windfall levy on an extension of the welfare-to-work programme. 
Professor Ross Cranston: I thank my hon. Friend and my right hon. Friend for taking the news of this brilliant programme to other parts of Europe. I should like my hon. Friend and my right hon. Friend to meet the 200 young people in my constituency who now have a chance of decent employment as a result of the programme. Now that the programme has gone nationwide, what are the early indications of its success?
Professor Ross Cranston: May I raise an issue relating to personnel that has been raised with me by the Dudley branch of the RAF Association? A real concern has been raised with me about the welfare of RAF veterans. Mike Houldershaw, the officer of the RAF Association in Dudley, has asked me to ask my hon. Friend whether he has had discussions with the British Legion, and with the RAF Association generally, about...
Professor Ross Cranston: Is it not the case that the quarterly system of corporation tax payment operates in the United States, Germany, France, Australia, Canada, Japan and a host of other countries, and that we are simply coming into line?
Professor Ross Cranston: Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?
Professor Ross Cranston: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for giving way again. Did he in his long experience, including at the Treasury, never propose legislation containing a regulation-making power?
Professor Ross Cranston: rose—
Professor Ross Cranston: I am not a solicitor: I am a member of the Bar. Only 2.8 per cent. of companies, 20,000 of them, will have to make the quarterly payments. It seems to me that the hon. Gentleman is making a good argument for a regulation-making power, not a piece of bland legislation, to cover all these different types of company.
Professor Ross Cranston: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?
Professor Ross Cranston: Will the hon. Gentleman comment on a quotation from an accountant, John Whiting, tax partner at Price Waterhouse, who commented on the point raised by the hon. Member for Grantham and Stamford (Mr. Davies) when he would not let me intervene. Mr. Whiting said: This is a pain—but the whole scheme is much fairer. It does show that they"— the Government— have listened to some of the...
Professor Ross Cranston: The hon. Gentleman is generous in giving way a second time. Has he consulted the draft regulations, which are available, and will he be commenting on them?
Professor Ross Cranston: If the amendment is carried, how will the revenue gap be filled? The real value of beer duty is lower than for 15 years, partly as a result of the single market.
Professor Ross Cranston: rose—
Professor Ross Cranston: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for giving way yet again. I should like to be helpful. Will he support the freedom of information legislation?
Professor Ross Cranston: Can the hon. Gentleman explain why the previous Government increased the rate on beer in 1995 after they lost the VAT on fuel decision? Does the logic of his argument favour a uniform European Union duty on beer?
Professor Ross Cranston: Is the hon. Gentleman making the accusation that many small shopkeepers in this country are handling contraband?
Professor Ross Cranston: I do not follow the logic of the hon. Lady's argument. The logic seems to be that the French Government are creating the problem, by imposing a lower duty. There will always be people who break the law. That does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that we should do away with the law. Would the hon. Lady suggest that we should legalise heroin, because some people break the law in that respect?
Professor Ross Cranston: I should like to draw the Committee's attention to what the right hon. Member for Wells (Mr. Heathcoat-Amory) said in January 1995 when this issue was being addressed: I accept that some things are more expensive in rural areas. Some things are more expensive in urban areas. That is the interplay of a market and the inheritance of the past."—[Official Report, 23 January 1995; Vol. 253, c....
Professor Ross Cranston: Did the hon. Gentleman also ask the Financial Secretary about the benefits that his constituency will receive from the £50 million a year for bus services for the next three years?