Clause 4

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:30 pm on 19th May 2009.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Financial Secretary (HM Treasury) (also in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) 12:30 pm, 19th May 2009

I do not agree with Opposition Members’ characterisation of the measure. Regarding complexity, as I said in my earlier remarks, the threshold for income tax and national insurance will, under the proposals that I have set out, including some of those in the Bill, be fully aligned for individuals for the first time. Some of the steps in the table read out by the hon. Member for Hammersmith and Fulham will be removed. The only parts of his table that are affected by the measure that we are discussing now are right at the top end of the income range. As I have underlined, only 2 per cent. of people—those on the highest incomes—will be affected. The full allowance will still be available for 98 per cent.  of taxpayers. The 2 per cent. whom we are talking about are already required to complete self-assessment forms. Hence, there will be no additional form-filling for them—it will all be done through the form that they already have to complete.