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Mr. Prisk: I do not understand the logic of the argument, which is that people are trying to organise their tenancy arrangements on that basis. Such an attitude involves an unnecessarily suspicious mindset. I am not naive enough to suggest that no one would try to do such things at the margins, but given that the Financial Secretary has already told the Committee that a tiny number of people are involved—presumably, a tiny sum would therefore be recouped in terms of tax avoidance—in the name of the apparent aim of this tax, which is modern commercial practice, we could surely get rid of two pages of gibberish.

Ruth Kelly: I beg to differ with the hon. Gentleman. First, the provision is not gibberish; secondly, it has a serious purpose, which is to put people on notice that they cannot reach an agreement that provides for a nominal rent during the first five years and a very sharp increase thereafter. We have to make it clear that we cannot tolerate such a situation. Only when the rent increases after the end of year five will tenants need to consider this situation at all. As the hon. Gentleman rightly points out, given that such people are on notice that tax cannot be avoided in this way, only very few will be affected by the provision. Of course, if it were not included in the Bill, a much greater number might be affected as the practice became more widespread. It is essential to include such a measure in the Bill to give people the required notice not to enter into such agreements.

The hon. Gentleman is trying to make a name for himself through his fondness for reading formulae from stamp duty provisions in regulations and Bills. He tries
 
28 Apr 2004 : Column 923
 
to make out that the formula is extremely complicated and that no reasonable tenant could possibly conclude whether their rent increase is normal. In fact, it is a fairly simple formula of—at the moment—RPI plus 5 per cent. The Inland Revenue intends to provide an online calculator for those who wish to calculate the figure in that way. Such a calculation is not a particularly onerous one for a tenant in that situation. We shall of course maintain an interest in stamp duty land tax issues between now and 2008, and we will always be ready and willing to introduce improvements to the legislation where they are justified. However, removing such provisions altogether and failing to replace them with anything that improves matters is unacceptable. I therefore ask the Committee to reject the amendment.

Mr. Prisk: I am grateful to the Financial Secretary for that explanation. May I clarify one point, Mr. McWilliam? Do you require me formally to move the amendment?

The Temporary Chairman: We have to dispose of amendment No. 14 before we get to amendment No. 13, which has not yet been put. Once we have disposed of amendment No. 14, I shall invite the hon. Gentleman to propose amendment No. 13 formally, if he wishes to press it to a vote.

Mr. Prisk: I have listened to the Financial Secretary's comments on amendment No. 14 and, although I am disappointed that she seems alone among professionals in the field in her interpretation of it, it would not be appropriate at this stage to press it to a vote. I hope that the Government have listened to the arguments and will improve the Bill in their future refining process. On that basis, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.



Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.



Amendment proposed: No. 13, in page 534, line 29, leave out from beginning to end of line 7 on page 537.—[Mr. Prisk.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 127, Noes 336.

Division No. 152
[3:04 pm


AYES

Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Amess, David
Arbuthnot, rh James
Bacon, Richard
Barker, Gregory
Baron, John (Billericay)
Beggs, Roy (E Antrim)
Bellingham, Henry
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bottomley, rh Virginia (SW Surrey)
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Browning, Mrs Angela
Burns, Simon
Burnside, David
Burt, Alistair
Campbell, Gregory (E Lond'y)
Chope, Christopher
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cran, James (Beverley)
Curry, rh David
Djanogly, Jonathan
Dodds, Nigel
Donaldson, Jeffrey M.
Dorrell, rh Stephen
Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Duncan Smith, rh Iain
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Flight, Howard
Flook, Adrian
Forth, rh Eric
Francois, Mark
Garnier, Edward
Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis)
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Greenway, John
Gummer, rh John
Hague, rh William
Hammond, Philip
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John (S Holland)
Heald, Oliver
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Hendry, Charles
Hermon, Lady
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, rh Michael
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson, Boris (Henley)
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lansley, Andrew
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, rh Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Maclean, rh David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Maples, John
Maude, rh Francis
Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Mercer, Patrick
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Norman, Archie
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paisley, Rev. Ian
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Randall, John
Redwood, rh John
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Robinson, Mrs Iris (Strangford)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Roe, Mrs Marion
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, David
Shepherd, Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Keith (M-Norfolk)
Smyth, Rev. Martin (Belfast S)
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Spring, Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Streeter, Gary
Swayne, Desmond
Swire, Hugo (E Devon)
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Trimble, rh David
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Whittingdale, John
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, David
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Ann (Congleton)
Yeo, Tim (S Suffolk)
Young, rh Sir George

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Peter Atkinson and
Mr. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown


NOES

Adams, Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baker, Norman
Barnes, Harry
Barrett, John
Barron, rh Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Beith, rh A. J.
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Betts, Clive
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Blunkett, rh David
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brake, Tom (Carshalton)
Breed, Colin
Brennan, Kevin
Brooke, Mrs Annette L.
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnett, John
Burnham, Andy
Byers, rh Stephen
Caborn, rh Richard
Cairns, David
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies (NE Fife)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Carmichael, Alistair
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Chidgey, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Coleman, Iain
Connarty, Michael
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Jean
Cotter, Brian
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davidson, Ian
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, rh John
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Brian H.
Doran, Frank
Doughty, Sue
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Drew, David (Stroud)
Drown, Ms Julia
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Ewing, Annabelle
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Don (Bath)
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foulkes, rh George
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
George, Andrew (St. Ives)
George, rh Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gidley, Sandra
Godsiff, Roger
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hanson, David
Harvey, Nick
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Heath, David
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hinchliffe, David
Holmes, Paul
Hood, Jimmy (Clydesdale)
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Eric
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Johnson, Alan (Hull W)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Kaufman, rh Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Keen, Ann (Brentford)
Keetch, Paul
Kelly, Ruth (Bolton W)
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S.
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Lamb, Norman
Lammy, David
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Liddell, rh Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Llwyd, Elfyn
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Mandelson, rh Peter
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, rh Michael
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Alan
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Moore, Michael
Morgan, Julie
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murphy, rh Paul (Torfaen)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan (Wansdyke)
Oaten, Mark (Winchester)
Olner, Bill
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Pugh, Dr. John
Purchase, Ken
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Raynsford, rh Nick
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Robertson, Angus (Moray)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
Salmond, Alex
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Adrian
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheridan, Jim
Short, rh Clare
Simon, Siôn (B'ham Erdington)
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Squire, Rachel
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Stunell, Andrew
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Thurso, John
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Robert N.
Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)
Watts, David
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
Weir, Michael
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Willis, Phil
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wishart, Pete
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wyatt, Derek
Younger-Ross, Richard


Tellers for the Noes:

Margaret Moran and
Paul Clark


Question accordingly negatived.


 
28 Apr 2004 : Column 927
 

Question proposed, That this schedule be the Thirty-seventh schedule to the Bill.


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