Clause 57

Finance (No.2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 23rd May 2006.

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Gift aid relief for companies wholly owned by one or more charities

Photo of Dawn Primarolo Dawn Primarolo Paymaster General (HM Treasury)

I beg to move amendment No. 71, in page 43 [Vol I], leave out line 36.

Photo of Edward O'Hara Edward O'Hara Labour, Knowsley South

With this it will be convenient to discuss Government amendment No. 72.

Photo of Dawn Primarolo Dawn Primarolo Paymaster General (HM Treasury)

May I place on the record my thanks to the Law Society? Members of the Committee will have noticed in the briefing on the Bill that it has suggested that the clause would have some unintended effects. It would prevent a company from benefiting from gift aid where a charity owned shares in it. That is not the intention and I am happy to move these amendments to clarify that point. I hope that the Committee will therefore accept them.

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke Conservative, South West Hertfordshire

I shall make two brief points. I am grateful to the Paymaster General for her comments on the Law Society. In the Committee of the whole House on another topic she was a little dismissive of law firms and professional advisers and questioned whether such advisers would know more than Treasury officials. In this case, it has emerged that they do.

I should declare an interest: the Law Society’s recommendations and comments were produced by the law firm Travis Smith. The lawyer who noticed the error in the drafting of the Bill was one Mrs. Rachel Gauke, who is my wife. I wish to place on the record the fact that during the Committee stage, one member of the Gauke family has managed to persuade the Government to change the Bill.

Photo of Dawn Primarolo Dawn Primarolo Paymaster General (HM Treasury)

On that point, perhaps there is a lesson for the Opposition in how to approach debates and be constructive.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 57, as amended, ordered to stand part ofthe Bill.