Committee (4th Day)

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Lords at 1:15 pm on 15th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Lyell Lord Lyell Conservative 1:15 pm, 15th March 2012

My Lords, I was delighted to see my noble friend Lord Attlee here, because I was about to follow some of his grandfather's advice: that a period of silence from me had been welcome until now. Today, however, I shall break my duck regarding income, in strong support of my noble friend Lord Forsyth. This is a preliminary strike about dividend income and pensions income.

I am sure that my noble and learned friend will be able to give advice at an early stage, but on page 25 of the Bill we come to Clause 31, headed, "Income tax for Scottish taxpayers". At lines 34 and 35 in Clause 31(3), new subsection (3C) refers to Section 16, which I presume to be that of the Income Tax Act 2007. It says that it,

"has effect for determining which part of a Scottish taxpayer's income consists of savings income".

As a non-practising member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, but very much as a consumer who takes advice, I seem to recall that until 10 years ago one's income tax was classified as earned and unearned income. Indeed, my colleagues with whom I worked then have confirmed that. However, we now have this completely different concept of savings income, earned income and other income being applied to Scottish taxpayers. It would be different from any other United Kingdom definition of what savings income or other income will be. Perhaps my noble and learned friend will be able to take note of that and cover it at some stage. However, I support most strongly what my noble friend Lord Forsyth has said at this stage. I am happy to let your Lordships know that this will be the first of one or two efforts from the mouse that roared, as I call myself-that is, the accountant in the backwoods of Angus.