Committee (4th Day)

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Lords at 3:30 pm on 15th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Conservative 3:30 pm, 15th March 2012

I am most grateful for that guidance and I apologise for having spoken too early to this amendment. We have had quite a long debate about the incidence of liability for Scottish income tax. I thought that I might be able not to move this amendment, which is why I interrupted my noble friend and asked him to say something about the Armed Forces. I am very concerned about the position of people serving in the Armed Forces who may be stationed in Scotland, and whether they will be liable for the Scottish income tax. This is an important point which touches on a later amendment-which the noble and learned Lord, Lord Davidson of Glen Clova, mentioned-to do with the period to which Scottish income tax relates. Regardless of whether the test is no longer met, this could create an anomalous position in respect of servicemen.

During consideration of the Bill in the other place, the Government promised to bring forward a definition that dealt with servicemen. I have included one in the amendment-which is probing and not meant to be the answer-in the hope that I might provoke my noble friend into providing an answer that makes the system simpler. Judging by his remarks about the very concise definition in the 1998 Act and the definition in the Bill, that may mean that it looks more complex. However, at the moment, it seems that the position of people in the Armed Forces who perhaps live in rented or service accommodation is not clear. I beg to move.