Committee (4th Day)

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:30 pm on 15th March 2012.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Sassoon Lord Sassoon The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury 4:30 pm, 15th March 2012

Forgive me, my Lords, I thought that we were straying into questions about tax status and Members of this House. We are talking about Members of another place with a constituency in Parliament, Members of the European Parliament and Members of the Scottish Parliament. Most Scottish parliamentarians will already meet conditions A and B in new Section 80D, but there may be circumstances where this may not apply. For example, a Member may have gained or lost a seat at a recent election-it could have happened when an election is held early in the tax year-and decided to move elsewhere in the UK. The test here is that there should be clarity. If the person has been a Member of one of these Parliaments for a Scottish seat for some part of the year and has chosen to be so, they should be Scottish taxpayers for the year, but I appreciate that, depending on whether they come in or go out at different points of the year, the situation could be different. However, this is consistent with what I have been saying today: that the basic test is a close-connection test and that it should be simple and clear. Members of both Houses of the UK Parliament are deemed to be UK-resident for tax purposes if they are a Member for any part of the tax year. If the noble Lord, Lord Foulkes, wants to draw a parallel between the two Houses of this Parliament and what we are applying through the Bill as it stands, I say to him that the situation would be entirely lined up. If you are a Member of either House of the UK Parliament for any part of the year, you are deemed to be UK-resident for tax purposes. That is completely consistent with what is proposed in the Bill for Members who sit for Scottish constituencies. That is how the Bill should stand.