Secondary Class 1 contributions: apprentices under 25

Part of Living Wage (Reporting) – in the House of Commons at 1:26 pm on 3rd February 2015.

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Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 1:26 pm, 3rd February 2015

My hon. Friend raises an interesting point in this context. He is absolutely right that the Office of Tax Simplification recommended we looked at that. There is quite a lot going on in relation to payroll: devolution of income tax in Scotland, the auto-enrolment of pensions and the introduction of real-time information to the payroll system. They have caused considerable challenges—all for good reason; all are doing much to improve the tax system—and we have held off pursuing further integration of income tax and the national insurance contributions system.

My hon. Friend was right to raise a point about people’s understanding of the tax system and greater transparency. The Government have introduced tax summaries so that people can see how much they are paying in income tax and national insurance. That brings greater transparency to our tax system, so we have made progress on that front. On the integration of national insurance and income tax more widely, it remains a position we continue to review. Some evidence from internal reviews was that the benefits to business of bringing the two systems together were perhaps not as great as some outside commentators had anticipated. In those circumstances, we did not want to rush into this matter, but I assure my hon. Friend that we continue to keep it under review.