National Insurance Contributions Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:51 pm on 4th November 2013.

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Photo of Nicky Morgan Nicky Morgan The Economic Secretary to the Treasury 6:51 pm, 4th November 2013

Of course the Government recognise that living standards are under pressure and that household budgets are being squeezed, but it is interesting that the Labour party’s calculations on household income and wages and earnings never factor in tax cuts. We are factoring in tax cuts and ensuring that people keep more of their own money.

My hon. Friend Caroline Dinenage made a characteristically excellent speech. She talked about the support the Bill will give by extending the employment allowance to small businesses and charities, and mentioned that she had been a small business owner herself. It is noticeable that many Government Members have run their own businesses. She rightly said that we want to make Britain business-friendly.

My hon. Friend Julian Smith, who also ran his own business before entering this House, did a sterling job in delivering his speech despite having lost a contact lens—none of us noticed. He made an important point about communicating with small businesses via Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, something I am sure Ministers will bear in mind. He also talked about making the employment allowance simple to administer. As my hon. Friend the Exchequer Secretary said in his opening remarks, the employment allowance will be delivered through employers’ standard payroll software and HMRC’s real-time information system. There will be no need for a separate application form or an annual return to report deductions. There will, I hope, be no extra forms, which is good news for small businesses.