Schedule 12 - Tax relief for expenditure on research and development

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:45 pm on 21st May 2002.

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Photo of Michael Jack Michael Jack Conservative, Fylde 6:45 pm, 21st May 2002

I am most grateful to the Paymaster General. I do not want to detain the Committee with having more forensic examinations and pursuing the cost aspects, but there are some complex matters in the part of the Finance Act 2000 from which I quoted. For example, some may find complex the issue of what percentage of a person's time counts towards R and D and ask whether a smaller percentage does not count towards it.

Amendment No. 78 deals with accommodation costs. I do not want to put words into the Paymaster General's mouth, but it seemed implicit that the subject might be reconsidered. The Government would surely not want to make it unnecessarily difficult for specialist facilities required for R and D to benefit from the provisions of the credit. I know from my constituency experience with BAE Systems that the company has had to construct a specialised facility to design the stealth characteristics of modern fighter aircraft. I would hate to think that the financing of such a facility could not benefit from credit relief because of a small technicality.

I take comfort from the way in which the Paymaster General responded, and look forward to reading the clarifying material. As she says, we may want to return to the matter when we all have more experience under our belts. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.