Clause 96 - Gifts of real property to charity

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:45 pm on 13th June 2002.

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Photo of Michael Jack Michael Jack Conservative, Fylde 3:45 pm, 13th June 2002

The hon. Gentleman makes a powerful point and I am grateful for his constructive observations. He has highlighted the reason why I suggested to the Economic Secretary that there could be a mechanism—if not now, in future—for dealing with exceptional circumstances. I take the point of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Rob Marris) that to decline a gift could cause tremendous problems, but on the other hand, there may be examples—I thought only of the children's home—of ways in which a beneficial donation of an asset could help a UK-based charity or charities. My suggestion is that the proposal, instead of being ruled out, should be examined and if necessary a mechanism could be derived for exceptional circumstances to avoid some of the problems that we have identified. There are plenty of examples in UK legislation—for example, child support legislation—of exceptional circumstances being catered for by the departure mechanism, which takes into account things that do not neatly fit into an agreed national formula.