Committee (4th Day)

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Lords at 2:45 pm on 15th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Davidson of Glen Clova Lord Davidson of Glen Clova Shadow Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow Advocate-General for Scotland, Shadow Spokesperson (Scotland) 2:45 pm, 15th March 2012

I am guided by the noble Lord, Lord Forsyth, as to how one should approach the Minister. I note what he has said and I hope that I have at least given the noble Lord some useful advice that will allow him to look at certain issues. However, I will await the answers from the Minister.

There is one further point that I should raise with the Minister, which to an extent echoes what the noble Lord, Lord Kilclooney, said. We are in a position where devolution seems to be taking us to where we may have a separate tax system in Scotland, in Northern Ireland, possibly in Wales and in England. Under the coalition Government there is a new Office of Tax Simplification. It would be helpful to know if some guidance might be sought as to how simplification might be assisted. I do not mean that entirely frivolously because it is plain that this is an area of great complexity. It would be useful at least to recognise that there may be a step away from a unitary tax system to something that is more complicated, so guidance on simplification from every quarter might be useful. In relation to the various amendments, it will be detected that we are broadly in support of seeking clarity.