§ [MR. MICHAEL MORRIS in the Chair]
That the order in which proceedings in Committee of the whole House on the Finance (No. 2) Bill are to be taken shall be Clause 42, Clause 183, Clause 48, Clause 52, Clause 67, Clause 115.[Mr. Portalo.]
§ Sir Teddy Taylor (Southend, East)
On a point of order, Mr. Morris. I understand that in the amendments that we are about to consider is one that, in one of the few instances in the history of Parliament, imposes taxation that no future British Government will be able to remove, in terms of the sixth directive, as amended. So that the House and the public may be fully informed, may I ask whether, in all future cases where taxes are imposed that cannot be removed by a future Government, the clauses concerned will be marked in a special way?
Parliament has always had a tradition that taxes can be raised or reduced by the House of Commons. However, in cases where taxes, once imposed, cannot be removed—and there may be quite a few in the future—is there no way in which the Order Paper, or the Vote, can be specially marked so that hon. Members are well aware that what they are doing cannot be reversed?
§ The Chairman of Ways and Means (Mr. Michael Morris)
That is a matter for the Select Committee on Procedure, rather than for the Chairman of Ways and Means.
§ Ms Harriet Harman (Peckham)
On a point of order, Mr. Morris. I note the provisional selection of amendments and the groupings. Would it be in order for us to take all the groups together in a single debate, for the convenience of the House?
§ Mr. A. J. Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)
Further to that point of order, Mr. Morris. May I say, as the mover of one of the separate groups of amendments, that it might well be for the convenience of the Committee if we took all the groups together, and then moved as soon as possible to a vote in which my hon. Friend the Member for Newbury (Mr. Rendel) could register his constituents' rejection of the proposal to put VAT on fuel?
§ The Chairman
Hon. Members will be aware that this is a provisional selection of amendments. Although it is fair to say that the Chair has taken some care and time over it, if it is the will of the House for all the groups to be taken together, the Chair is happy with that.