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

My Lords, I want to touch on this briefly. It was a point alluded to by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Davidson of Glen Clova. This is about fairness and I hope that my noble friend the Minister is not going to tell me that there is a principle involved here. I see a principle, which is that you should not be taxed for something that you have not received.

As drafted, the Bill provides that if at any time in the tax year someone is defined as a Scottish taxpayer but then changes his status, my noble friend says that he will have to pay the tax. Perhaps he is one of those members of the armed services, who is stationed in Edinburgh from April to May and then goes somewhere else for the rest of the year. He will have to pay the Scottish rate of income tax for the full year, not only for the period when he was defined as a Scottish taxpayer. That cannot be right. I can see why it is administratively convenient for the Revenue and the Treasury. They have thought up the idea of having different tax rates in the United Kingdom but I do not see why taxpayers should have to bear the burden. It is unfair and my amendment provides that liability to pay the Scottish tax should arise only for the time when someone is getting the benefits of the services and political representation that the Scottish Parliament provides. I hope that my noble friend will accept this as a matter of principle and on grounds of fairness. I beg to move.