Clause 72 - Identifying where the risk is situated

Part of Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 5 January 2022.

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Photo of Alison Thewliss Alison Thewliss Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Treasury) 4:45, 5 January 2022

I do not have any major objections to what is being proposed, but I would be doing the Association of British Insurers a disservice if I let the clause go through without mentioning its concern, which I share, that insurance premium tax is quite a regressive tax. We are about to discuss tobacco duty; the ABI points out, through some research by the Social Market Foundation, that insurance premium tax now raises more revenue than beer and cider duty, wine duty, spirits duty, or betting and gaming duties.

Since 1994, the standard rate of IPT has increased more rapidly than tobacco duty. Those are all things that we want people not to do; we would prefer it if people did not drink as much, smoke as much or gamble as much, so we tax those things. It seems ludicrous to tax people on insurance, which we would like people to have and which benefits them and society, so I ask the Minister to consider further whether insurance premium tax is something sensible that we want to keep doing.