(Except clauses 5 and 6, 7 to 9, 10 to 15, schedule 1, clauses 18 to 25, 27, 47, 48, 50 to 60, schedules 7 to 9, clauses 121 to 264, schedules 14 to 17, clauses 265 to 277, schedule 18, clauses 278 to 312 and any new clauses or new schedules relating to the subject matter of those clauses and schedules.)

Part of Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 9:25 am ar 16 Mai 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Kirsty Blackman Kirsty Blackman Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 9:25, 16 Mai 2023

I will make a brief comment in relation to the programme motion. It is the convention of the House that a Finance Bill does not take oral evidence. That continues to be a significant issue for the knowledge of the Committee. Written evidence is very important, and everybody does their best to read it, but nothing quite compares to asking questions in an oral evidence session. The programme motion does not allow for oral evidence. The Government have made it clear on previous Finance Bills in previous years that that is because part of a Finance Bill is considered by the whole House and the rest is considered in Committee.

Given the extent of this Finance Bill and how incredibly complex it is, particularly when it comes to corporation tax, it would have been beneficial for the Committee to ask questions of experts. It would not have taken us past any potential dates. We could have scheduled an oral evidence session with, for example, the Association of Taxation Technicians and the Chartered Institute of Taxation, and taken evidence on the parts of the Bill that we are yet to consider in order to better understand what is in the Bill and the issues that it presents for professionals.

Although I will not oppose the Programming Sub-Committee’s recommendations in the programme motion, I raise my concerns, as I do for every Finance Bill Committee on which I sit, that oral evidence sessions would have made a positive difference. They would not have held up the machinery of government and the progress of the Bill, but they would have allowed us to make more informed decisions.