§ 9. Mr. Andrew F. Bennett (Denton and Reddish)
What assessment he has made of the effects of reducing inheritance tax in return for concessions. 
§ The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mrs. Barbara Roche)
The conditional exemption scheme assists in the protection and preservation of assets of appropriate heritage quality and secures reasonable public access to them.
§ Mr. Bennett
I congratulate my hon. Friend on her new post, and also note that we have an increasing number of women in the Treasury team, which is a big contrast to the Conservative party.
Will my hon. Friend bring her traditional vigour to the question of the concessions that have been given for access to land, because that has been one of the great rip-offs? People have offered access to land, on a very limited number of occasions, in return for reductions in inheritance tax. That was looked at again during consideration of the previous Finance Bill, and new provisions were put in. How many new negotiations have taken place under the new provisions, and does she agree that it would be better to get rid of those concessions and simply have a right of access to all mountain and moorland, for all the public?
§ Mrs. Roche
I know of the great interest that my hon. Friend has taken in that issue for a long time. He is right to say that the conditional exemption scheme rules were strengthened by the previous Finance Bill. Detailed rules are being drawn up at the moment, because the assets have to be listed so that the public can get information about them. It is absolutely right to strike a balance between maintaining and preserving our heritage in terms of land and buildings and making absolutely sure that the public—who pay for the tax referral—gain advantage for that.
My hon. Friend rightly pointed out the problems that the Opposition face. I thank him for his warm welcome to my new post, and I note that there is not one woman Conservative Member of Parliament in the Chamber.
§ Mrs. Roche
Apart from the hon. Lady. [Interruption.] I know how excited Conservative Members are about inheritance tax, but they should not get so excited that they forget that the hon. Lady, whom I warmly welcome, has been present for only the last two minutes of Question Time. It is hardly surprising, given the lack of 472 representation of women, that the Conservative party's internal polling shows that it is widely out of touch with the British people.