Committee (4th Day)

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:00 pm on 15th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Conservative 4:00 pm, 15th March 2012

I stand corrected. If my noble friend followed any Scottish business, he would realise that the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are treated as the same thing by the First Minister.

I am so pleased that my noble friend has made this point. It is a matter of principle that members of the armed services who are deployed to Scotland, living in barrack accommodation, who have no choice in the matter, being under military discipline, should not be required to pay the additional tax. If the Government take the view that the additional tax should fall on them because it is administratively convenient for them, they should get a clear and absolute undertaking that the Ministry of Defence will meet the costs of that. The costs should fall not on the English taxpayer but should be rebated back by the Scottish Parliament. Otherwise it is a transfer of money from the MoD to the Scottish Government because they have put taxes on members of the armed services who are stationed in Scotland.

I will happily withdraw the amendment but we will come back to this at a later stage in the Bill. I advise my noble friend to discuss with his colleagues how he can improve the position. I do not believe that it is sustainable. It is an extremely unfair position, and for us to be doing it at this moment-of all moments-when the whole country is very conscious of how much we owe the armed services, would be a mistake. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 54A withdrawn.

Amendment 54B

Moved by Lord Forsyth of Drumlean

54B: Clause 30, page 23, line 10, at end insert-

"(1A) If the activity which allows T to meet conditions A, B, C or D is undertaken for some but not all of the tax year then T shall be a Scottish taxpayer only for that period of the year and a UK taxpayer for the remainder of it."