Growth and Infrastructure Bill — Commons Amendments

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:45 pm on 24th April 2013.

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Photo of Lord Flight Lord Flight Conservative 6:45 pm, 24th April 2013

I had indeed understood that that was the point, but if an individual chooses to invest in a fairly high-risk new venture via an EIS scheme, he does not pay capital gains tax. If he invests and it does not qualify for that scheme, he does. Self-evidently, new companies will as far as possible qualify for the EIS scheme because it gives that incentive to investors. The position here is not so dramatically different. People may well have equity in new start-ups that does not qualify for this scheme, but in terms of the overall package, as we are well aware, they will have to pay income tax up front, there is a limit to the amount of equity they can have and it is of cash-flow benefit to the company in terms of the potential costs that it removes. I do not see it as a vehicle of fancy tax avoidance. There is a perfectly fair debate about whether it is a good idea, but I do not believe it is useable as a vehicle for the sort of tax avoidance that we are trying to get rid of.

Nearly everything that there is to be said about this has been said in this House.