New Clause 6 - Transfers of real property between joint occupiers

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 24th June 2004.

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Photo of Mr Howard Flight Mr Howard Flight Shadow Chief Secretary To the Treasury, Economic Affairs, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 11:15 am, 24th June 2004

No doubt, some partners will die during that period, so there will be no benefit. I should have thought that it would be possible to build the promised provision into this Bill.

Secondly, once the Civil Partnership Bill takes effect, there will be an ongoing issue with people asking, quite correctly, ''Why should someone get this tax benefit only if they happen to sign a civil partnership contract?'' There is no moral difference between two sisters living together and two other people of the same sex living together, but their IHT situations will be different. That is an ongoing issue.

I am pleased that the Government are committed to addressing the first part of the problem, albeit not in this Bill. I appreciate the fact that people will be able to own a property half each, which in many cases will mitigate the problem. However, as the Minister will be aware, the rise in property prices in the south-east has been such that quite a few people are still affected by this issue.

To a fair extent, the new clause is a probing clause, and although the Government have responded only in part, I would not want to the put it to a vote. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the motion.

Motion and clause, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 308 ordered to stand part of the Bill.