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(Except Clauses 7, 8, 9, 11, 14, 16, 20 and 92)

Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:00 am on 18th June 2009.

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Photo of Jimmy Hood Jimmy Hood Labour, Lanark and Hamilton East 9:00 am, 18th June 2009

I understand that the Minister has a short statement to make.

Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Financial Secretary (HM Treasury) (also in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)

I bid you a warm welcome to the Chair, Mr. Hood, on this beautiful morning. I have a couple of points to make. First, I would like to correct a misleading impression that I gave the Committee at the end of our previous sitting during the debate on clause 70 relating to the costing of the £45 million expected to be yielded as a result of that clause, which dealt with accommodation costs. I said, correctly, that the costing was based on 47 cases of those arrangements being used by 19 employee benefits trusts to gain a tax advantage, but it was not based on 47 individuals, because each case involved a number of different individuals. Due to the way in which information about trusts using lease premiums has been corrected, the number of employees benefiting is not recorded, but it is certainly a good deal more than 47, which helps to explain the large yield score for that measure.

Secondly, as the Committee will be aware, my hon. Friend the Member for Burnley has stepped down from her role at the Treasury, and I would like to say how much we will miss her. We had already been working with gusto on the Bill in the short time she was back at the Treasury as a Minister. We of course look forward to welcoming my hon. Friend the Member for Portsmouth, North (Sarah McCarthy-Fry), when she joins us later and congratulate her on her appointment. I think that the Committee will understand what I mean when I say that I am sure she would have wished her appointment to have been in circumstances other than those we find ourselves in today. I express my thanks to my hon. Friend the Member for Burnley for her help over the past week.