Standing Orders (Public Business)

Part of Children and Social Work Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 4:58 pm on 7th March 2017.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 4:58 pm, 7th March 2017

I beg to move,

That:

(1) In Standing Order No. 83S(3)(c), after the paragraph (4A) treated as inserted in

Standing Order No. 83J, insert-

“(4B) In addition, a clause or schedule-

(a) relates exclusively to England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and

(b) is within devolved legislative competence, if it does nothing other than set one or more of the main rates of income tax for a tax year.”;

(2) In Standing Order No. 83S(3)(d), at the end insert “and”;

(3) In Standing Order No. 83S(3), omit sub-paragraph (f), and the “and” preceding it;

(4) In Standing Order No. 83T(2)(c), for “, (7) and (12)” substitute “and (7)”; and

(5) In Standing Order No. 83U(8), for “(4A), (7) and (12)” substitute “(4B) and (7)”.

As hon. Members will be aware, the Scotland Act 2016 received Royal Assent last year. The Act provides the Scottish Parliament with the power to set its own rates and thresholds of income tax. For that reason, the Government announced in the 2016 Budget changes to the structure of income tax intended to ensure that from the Finance Bill 2017 onwards, a clause setting the main rates of income tax would be certified under the English votes procedures. In other words, the consent of hon. Members from constituencies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland would be required for any income tax matters that affected their constituents and that did not affect Scottish taxpayers. The necessary legislative changes to achieve this were made in the Finance Act 2016, and mean that from April this year, these UK main rates will no longer affect Scottish taxpayers.

The technical amendments to Standing Orders before us will ensure that provisions setting the main rates of income tax will be subject to a certification decision by the Speaker now that the Scottish rates of income tax are set by the Scottish Parliament. It will mean that the Standing Orders on which Parliament has already voted will work as originally intended, but now taking account of the new element of the Scotland Act 2016.

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