HL Deb 09 December 2002 vol 642 cc11-2
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara)

My Lords, I beg to move the first Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper. I should point out that this committee used to be called the Joint Committee on Tax Simplification Bills. It has been renamed but there are no changes to its terms of reference.

Moved, That the message from the Commons of 3rd December be now considered and that a Select Committee of six Lords be appointed to join with the Committee appointed by the Commons to consider tax law rewrite Bills, and in particular to consider whether each Bill committed to it preserves the effect of the existing law, subject to any minor changes which may be desirable;

That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following Lords be named of the committee:

That the committee have power to agree with the Commons in the appointment of a chairman;

That the quorum of the committee shall be two;

That the committee have leave to report from time to time;

That the committee have power to appoint specialist advisers;

That the minutes of evidence taken before the committee from time to time shall, if the committee think fit, be printed;

That the procedure of the Joint Committee shall follow the procedure of Select Committees of the House of Commons where such procedure differs from that of Select Committees of this House, and shall include the power of the chairman to select amendments.—(The Chairman of Committees.)

Lord Barnett

My Lords, while I welcome the appointment of this Joint Select Committee and the work it intends to do, how will it deal with the decision of your Lordships' House that the Economic Affairs Select Committee should also look at finance Bills? I am grateful to the Clerk for giving the noble Lord the answer to my question, which I have not yet finished. The House gave power to the Economic Affairs Select Committee to deal with finance Bills, to look at their composition and possibly to amend the law. Can the Chairman of Committees tell me how that will impact on the Motion we are now being asked to agree to?

The Chairman of Committees

My Lords, as far as I am aware, it has absolutely nothing to do with the consideration that the Economic Affairs Select Committee may give to finance Bills. In the same way that other laws are consolidated, this committee will consider consolidating existing tax laws in the hope of simplifying them.

On Question, Motion agreed to; and a message was ordered to be sent to the Commons to acquaint them therewith.

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