(Except Clauses 1, 4, 5, 9, 14, 22, 42, 56, 57, 124, 130 to 135, 138, 139, 148 and 184 and Schedules 5, 6, 19 and 25, and any new Clauses and Schedules tabled by Friday 9th May 2003 relating to excise duty on spirits or R&D tax credits for oil exploration.) - Schedule 8 - Stamp duty land tax: charities relief

Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 10th June 2003.

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Amendment made: No. 257, in

schedule 8, page 179, line 40, at end insert—

'Relief under this paragraph is referred to in this Part as ''charities relief''.'.—[Mr. Boateng.]

Photo of Mr Paul Boateng Mr Paul Boateng Chief Secretary, HM Treasury, The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

I beg to move amendment No. 287, in

schedule 8, page 180, line 8, leave out 'of persons or a' and insert 'or'.

The purpose of the amendment is to clarify the types of bodies that can benefit from charities relief. The amendment changes ''body of persons'' to ''body''. It is intended to make it clear that every charitable body can qualify for the relief, even if it is, under the law, a corporation sole. An example of a corporation sole is a vicar or a rector of the Church of England. We want it to be beyond doubt that every corporation sole, if it is established for charitable purposes, is entitled to the relief. There may be some doubt about that at present, although as the hon. Member for Torridge and West Devon (Mr. Burnett) is not in his place, I fear that the doubt will not be explored extensively—perhaps he will join us before the end of the debate. There may be some doubt because, by definition, a corporation sole will always consist of a single individual rather than persons, in the everyday sense of the word. A corporation sole would clearly be a body. I commend the amendment to the Committee.

Photo of Mark Prisk Mark Prisk Shadow Paymaster General

I must say, it was a delightful performance from the Chief Secretary, niftily touching on bodies and souls. It was a treat. The amendment has much to commend it. The performance was not quite as enticing as the one that was given on Friday evening when yet again the Chief Secretary's body was on display to one and all on ''Have I Got News for You''. I do not want to upset people's stomachs at this stage in the day. I am more than happy to say that we do not oppose the amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Schedule 8, as amended, agreed to.