Clause 124 - Climate change levy: incorrect certificates

Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 20th June 2002.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of John Healey John Healey The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

I shall be brief. The clause will enable Customs to apply a civil penalty where any relief entitlement for supplies at the reduced rate or to combined heat and power stations is incorrectly notified to suppliers. The clause will take effect in relation to certificates given in respect of supplies made on or after 24 April 2002.

I can reassure the Committee that the Government are committed to ensuring that eligible businesses are able to enjoy the benefit of any reliefs available to the full extent of their entitlement. That said, it is only right that businesses should be penalised for providing incorrect information and certification that causes an energy supplier improperly to relieve a supply from the levy. A gap in the law has meant that Customs was powerless to impose a penalty on businesses providing incorrect certificates for two particular climate change levy reliefs. The reliefs concerned relate to supplies to combined heat and power stations and to energy-intensive users at the reduced rate. There is no good reason for those reliefs to be afforded differential treatment and the measure provides for their inclusion within the penalty regime.

The Government are determined to treat businesses in a consistent and fair manner. The clause will ensure that incorrect certificates, regardless of the relief claimed, are subject to the same provisions.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 124 ordered to stand part of the Bill.