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(Except clauses 7, 8, 9, 11, 14, 16, 20 and 92) - Clause 56

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 16th June 2009.

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Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough 11:15 am, 16th June 2009

I quite agree. The problem we have is that the Government are rightly trying to solve a problem for British citizens, who should not be taxed in two places and should get relief against it. That is what clause 56 does, and I agree with it. However, should we be allowing that taxation in the first place when it is not another country but this organisation that is imposing a tax on British citizens? Should not the Government fight this tooth and nail and tell the MEPs not to pay the tax because it is an outrage?

I hope that the Minister will be able to deal with the following technical point. The taxation that will be charged will be through self-assessment at the end of the year. I assume that MEPs receive their money in euros each month. How will that be converted into sterling for taxation purposes? Will it be done on a monthly basis when the money is remitted or at the end of the year when the tax is decided? That could be a significantly different tax charge. As I understand the clause, it will mean a loss of money to the Exchequer. I stand to be corrected, but it appears that there is a European tax charge that will go into the European Union’s coffers which will then be set against the tax that the MEPs would have paid. That difference will be a loss to the UK Exchequer. How much will that loss be?