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 David Gauke David Gauke The Exchequer Secretary 4:45 pm, 7th December 2010

The hon. Gentleman disagrees with something that I am not entirely sure that I said. I did not say that charities are not enterprising; I said that this policy would support entrepreneurs in those regions where public sector employment is high or, to put it another way, where the private sector is weakest. We are trying to help the private sector in those areas where it is weakest. That is what this is about. Of course, charities play a valuable role, which, as constituency MPs, we all recognise, but we do not believe that such a policy would be the right way forward, especially as the Committee has endorsed a regional approach.

The test of whether an organisation can benefit is set in clause 5(6)(a), which refers to

“a trade, profession or vocation”.

That is the test, as opposed to the legal structure that applies to the charity. I do not claim by any means to be an expert in charity law, but as long as the charity, whether it is a trust, an association, or a company limited by guarantee, is a trade, profession or vocation, it would qualify.

I see that the hon. Gentleman wants to come back in. I suspect he may be an expert on charity law, so I look forward to his intervention.