Excise duties: postal packets sent from overseas

Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 1st February 2018.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Kirsty Blackman Kirsty Blackman Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Economy), SNP Deputy Leader

I am not trying to wrong-foot the Minister, but I just want to make a brief statement in relation to postal packets from overseas. I have mentioned the issue in previous debates. I genuinely think that it will affect individuals living our constituencies across the four nations of the UK. People will be shocked when they see the changes coming in relation to excise duty. It is incumbent on the Government, when HMRC make the relevant regulations, that they are as widely publicised as possible, and that if possible, some transitional arrangement should be put in place on costs. If people suddenly find that their postal packets are subject to an incredible charge to which they were previously not subject, they will be pretty upset, and rightly so.

Whatever HMRC does on the issue, we ask the Minister to ensure that there is adequate publicity and that any charges put in place are proportionate and not excessive, because people will be incredibly upset and negatively affected.

Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General

I thank the hon. Lady for those well-made observations. We certainly want to ensure that whatever transition there is to the new regime for small parcels is handled correctly, for exactly the reasons that she has given. I am very close to that as a Minister; in fact, I will meet Royal Mail next week to discuss exactly those points. I will, of course, be happy to share that information and take any further questions that she might have.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 44 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 45