Clause 68 - Regulations: general

Part of Childcare Payments Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 28 October 2014.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Exchequer Secretary 10:30, 28 October 2014

Clauses 68 to 72, which form part of the final provisions of the Bill, specify whether powers to make regulations under the Bill are exercisable by the Treasury or by HMRC, and whether they will be made by the affirmative or the negative procedure. They also define terms used in the Bill, provide a power to make consequential amendments and include necessary financial provisions. Government amendments 29 and 30 make minor corrections to clauses 68 and 69 in respect of the procedures for regulations made under clauses 31 and 32.

Clause 68 covers regulations made under the Bill. Clause 69 specifies that any regulations that have direct bearing on the way in which the scheme operates, such as the level at which Government support will be provided, should be subject to the affirmative rather than the negative procedure. Clause 70 defines various terms in the Bill, including “commissioners”, “HMRC” and “tax credits”. Clause 71 enables regulations to amend primary or secondary legislation when the Treasury considers it necessary or expedient to do so as a result of the provisions in the Bill.

Clause 72 provides that when National Savings & Investments or HMRC provide child care accounts, they cannot pay any amounts paid into those accounts into the consolidated fund, and that payments out of child care accounts will not be treated as expenditure  undertaken by NS&I or HMRC. Those provisions are necessary to ensure that the money in the accounts is managed in accordance with the provisions in the Bill.

In the Bill as introduced, procedures for regulations made under clauses 31 and 32 were not quite right. Government amendments 29 and 30 rectify that situation. Amendment 29 makes a minor change to clause 68 giving the Treasury the power to make regulations for determining when HMRC will be able to disqualify people from the scheme because they have claimed tax credits or universal credit at the same time. Amendment 30 amends clause 69 so that the regulations defining what will be treated as a change in circumstances for the purpose of disqualifying people from using the scheme must be subject to the affirmative procedure when made for the first time.