Phasing Out of Aprt

Part of Orders of the Day — Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:45 pm on 28th April 1983.

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Photo of Mr Timothy Eggar Mr Timothy Eggar , Enfield North 7:45 pm, 28th April 1983

I would not have given that assurance anyway, but certainly not after the right hon. Gentleman's last words. The point is that under the old system the annex B had to be submitted as a whole. Now it can be submitted section by section, and that makes the work load on the oil companies and the Department that much easier. They are not suddenly faced with the whole thing, with a famine followed by a feast of paper, and then another famine and so on. That is a welcome reform, which I am sorry the right hon. Gentleman does not feel able to accept. I have one final technical point that I should like the Minister to clarify, if not now perhaps later. He will recollect that last year, as a result of an amendment introduced in Committee, it was agreed that APRT that had not been offset against PRT within five years of the first payment of APRT would be refunded after those five years.

It is rather curious that if APRT has not been offset against PRT payments by the end of 1986 no refund is due to the companies from the Government. If my understanding of clause 73 is correct, I do not understand the logic of that. Logically, the APRT should still be refunded. It may be that the Inland Revenue believes that no APRT would be refundable because of the phasing out. I would be grateful if my hon. Friend will confirm whether that is the case.

Finally, may I pay tribute to my hon. Friend for the way in which he has handled this extremely complex matter. He has involved himself in detailed discussions with the industry and, although I have no interest to declare, I know that the industry is extremely grateful for the open way in which he has approached the problem. While his proposals do not meet all the industry's wishes, they are as much as it could reasonably expect.