Committee (4th Day)

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 15th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Sassoon Lord Sassoon The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury 3:15 pm, 15th March 2012

I will come back to that point because the question of credits is very important. I am happy to talk to that but let me answer one or two of the other questions that have already arisen. I shall pass over some of the detailed questions that are largely in the same category as some that I have already addressed.

On the question of safeguards and appeals, the appeals process will apply as it does to appeals and disputes with HMRC across the rest of the UK. That is clear and straightforward and, in general, applies to a number of the concerns of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Davidson of Glen Clova.

Let me address the issue of personal service companies as that has been somewhat topical recently. The Calman commission recognised that the changes would need to apply the Scottish rate of income tax to income from savings and dividends. The changes needed to apply the changes to savings and dividends would be prohibitive and so, as noble Lords know, savings and dividends are not within the scope of the Scottish rate of income tax. However, HMRC's compliance work, including that relating to IR35, will continue to ensure that all taxpayers pay the correct amount of tax and national insurance contributions, including those who are liable at the Scottish rate. As is evident, all noble Lords who are here today are expert in these matters and I hardly need remind them that the aim of IR35 is to eliminate the avoidance of tax and national insurance contributions through the use of intermediaries such as personal service companies or partnerships. The noble and learned Lord is right to be concerned about this but the matter has been considered by HMRC in the construct that we are talking about today.