Amendment No. 26 would correct what I believe to be a potential error in the transitional provisions: line 36 of the clause refers to 6 April 2004, but it should refer to 1 April 2004. If it does not, the transitional provisions will not operate correctly for periods of account beginning on or after 1 April. I am aware of the Government's amendment, but it relates to a line further down. However, the fact that they have tabled the amendment suggests that the mention of 6 April was intentional, so I look forward to hearing the purpose behind that.
I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for proposing a change to the commencement provisions in order to improve the
consistency of their application. However, his amendment would make the commencement date different from the start of the assessment year. The year of assessment starts on 6 April, in contrast to the financial year, which begins on 1 April. However, Government amendments Nos. 81 and 82 would achieve the same objective as amendment No. 26, but in a way that keeps the introduction of the new rules as simple as possible by aligning the commencement date with the start of the assessment year. In those circumstances, I ask the hon. Gentleman to withdraw his amendment and count this debate as a score draw. I commend the Government amendments to the Committee.
Minor victories have to be taken when possible. I must confess that when I read the Government amendments, I was even more bamboozled than before as to what was right and what wrong. While I am momentarily ahead, I will take the good advice and beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendments made: No. 81, in
clause 37, page 41, line 41, leave out '31st March' and insert '5th April'.
No. 82, in
clause 37, page 41, line 42, leave out '1st' and insert '6th'.—[Dawn Primarolo.]
Clause 37, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.