Clause 10 - Powers to require information
Mr Philip Hammond (Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)
Amendment No. 177 takes us to clause 10(2). Amendment No. 178 reflects a similar change to the language in the following paragraph. Paragraphs (b) and (c) are affected. As drafted, the Bill refers to a power by regulations to enable an officer of the Inland Revenue to require persons of a specified description to produce information to that officer. Clause 10(2) describes classes of person
''which may be specified by regulations under subsection (1)''.
Clause 10(2)(b) includes in the definition of classes of person who may be specified by regulations to be required to produce information
''any person who is, or has been, the spouse or partner of such a person as is mentioned in paragraph (a)''.
I do not want to suggest that we are on an inexorable slide towards a police state, but clearly that could be a wide-ranging and all-encompassing provision. I suspect that it is quite unreasonable to include anyone who has ever been the spouse of a person mentioned in paragraph (a)—that is, a person claiming to be entitled to statutory paternity pay—among those subject to a requirement to produce documents and information.
The amendment seeks to limit the liability of a former spouse or partner to a person who was a spouse or partner at the time of the claimed entitlement referred to in paragraph (a). It seems to me to be reasonable to demand information from such a person, but unreasonable to include any former spouse or partner in the definition.