Committee (4th Day)

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 15th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Sassoon Lord Sassoon The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury 5:00 pm, 15th March 2012

My Lords, as my noble friend said, Amendment 54H would remove the retrospective element of the power to make supplementary changes. It gives me the opportunity to reassure the House-which I hope is what my noble friend seeks-that the Treasury does not seek a general power to impose retrospective legislation. This is a very limited power to make any changes retrospective to the start of the tax year. Because of the timing of the budget cycle, most finance Bills receive Royal Assent after the start of the tax year and so contain proposals that come into effect before Royal Assent. It is therefore important that, where necessary, any consequential change made using the order-making power can also take effect from the start of the tax year. The power is identical to that in Section 79(4) of the Scotland Act 1998 for the Scottish variable rate. I hope that my noble friend is reassured that this is just a necessary provision to take account of when Royal Assent is given to finance Bills and that, yet again, he will be prepared to withdraw his amendment.