Clause 8

Part of National Insurance Contributions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:00 am on 9th December 2010.

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Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Exchequer Secretary 9:00 am, 9th December 2010

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Sheridan.

With amendment 11, the hon. Member for Nottingham East appears to want to ensure that HMRC has a three-month target to guarantee the turnaround of an application. I assure him that amendment 11 is unnecessary, as HMRC is currently processing all applications within 48 hours and the vast majority of applications are submitted online, so the initial checks are automated. That means employers receive an immediate response confirming whether they are eligible for the scheme on the basis of the information provided. If the employer is eligible, they can start withholding employer national insurance in respect of eligible employees. HMRC has processed approximately 1,100 successful applications since the scheme started and has rejected a further 54, as we have already heard.