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 Mr Howard Flight Mr Howard Flight Conservative, Arundel and South Downs 3:45 pm, 13th June 2002

Although I accept some of the Economic Secretary's points, I believe that the issue has been greatly overstated. I should think that a Sikh temple in England would be extremely pleased to be given 10 acres of land in the Punjab, which is worth

about three times more per acre than land here—it would be a valuable asset. The task of disposing of it is not difficult, so what is the problem with something that sounds as exotic as that?

The issues of valuation and the claiming of rights would not cause great problems either, because until a charity has certified that a donation has value it might not get tax relief. I feel that bigger problems are being created than those that exist. I see a different argument for ring-fencing UK taxation, with which, from many other perspectives, I agree. There is an issue in terms of the EU because, through the measure, the Government will attach different tax rights to UK land from those attached to the land of other EU countries. It may well be illegal to do that.

We will not press the amendment. The Government can think about it until next year. However, there will not be great problems if they show the will to take the view that a land gift should be viewed on an international basis. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.