Clause 5

Part of National Insurance Contributions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 7th December 2010.

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Photo of Chris Leslie Chris Leslie Shadow Minister (Treasury) 4:45 pm, 7th December 2010

Indeed, and I am grateful for that point. Nevertheless, most new start-up charities that employ a small number of individuals would probably say, “Yes, please” to the national insurance holiday, were it available to them. Charities that are thinking about starting up, and that are looking at the costs and expense of staffing their activities, could be deterred from hiring the desirable number of extra staff. I presume that the national insurance holiday is partly designed to act as a carrot that draws new endeavours into employing new people, but that may no longer be the case.

I want to ask the Minister the following specific questions. What is the logic of excluding the not-for-profit sector in this way? Is there a reason why he has focused only on the “wealth-creating sector”—as he defines it—as, supposedly, the for-profit sector? In many ways, I think that the not-for-profit sector can also help with the general prosperity and wealth of the country at large, but that is a bit of a moot point. In the Minister’s view, if we were to accept the amendment and the clause were to be extended to charities, what would be the cost? Has the Treasury been able to put a broad estimate in place about that? Cost may be one reason why the Minister does not want to extend the parameters of the clause. If so, what would that cost be? My most specific question is that, as I understand it, in charity law, a charity is either a trust, an association, or a company limited by guarantee. In the latter case, would that third form of charity find itself eligible under the Bill as drafted, particularly under clause 5(6)(a)? Obviously, the provisions of the income tax Acts and corporation tax Acts may well apply to a charity which is a company limited by guarantee.