Clause 242 - Abolition of crown preference

Enterprise Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:30 am ar 14 Mai 2002.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Question proposed [9 May], That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Question again proposed.

Photo of Derek Conway Derek Conway Ceidwadwyr, Old Bexley and Sidcup

As the Clerk will not allow me to adjourn the Committee to the Terrace, we shall continue with the clause stand part debate.

Photo of Miss Melanie Johnson Miss Melanie Johnson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Trade and Industry

I can only regret that the Clerk has prevented your bid to adjourn to the Terrace on such a nice morning, Mr. Conway.

I confirm what the Minister for E-Commerce and Competitiveness, my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley, South (Mr. Alexander) has said; we estimate that the abolition of Crown preference will yield some £70 million a year for creditors, which will be very helpful to those creditors who would not have received any benefit from the previous arrangements.

Photo of Nigel Waterson Nigel Waterson Ceidwadwyr, Eastbourne

I welcome the Under-Secretary back to the Committee. We are pleased to see her in rude good health this morning, although we will soon put a stop to that.

The proof of this particular pudding will be in the eating. If we discover, through our advice surgeries and mailbags, that small businesses are being harassed at a much earlier stage by the Revenue and by Customs and Excise in order to get around the excellent proposal of scrapping Crown preference, we may need to return to the subject. We have expressed our concerns on the issue and I have no more to say at this stage.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 242 ordered to stand part of the Bill.