New Clause 1 - Review of reliefs on investments

Part of Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 11 January 2022.

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Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 10:30, 11 January 2022

I would like to address the points made by the hon. Member for Glasgow Central about the process, which she made earlier in the Committee’s proceedings too. There is a clear process for how we make legislation and taxation. There is a large amount of consultation. The process is that we announce a consultation, there is a consultation, we reflect on the consultation, and then we bring in legislation. So long as I am in this position, I am happy to hear points made by the Opposition in the course of that consultation process, to ensure that we have the right and appropriate legislation on our statute book.

New clauses 1 and 6 would require the Government to publish an assessment of the impact of the tax reliefs in the Bill, including the reliefs on investments, on the tax gap, and to look at whether they have increased opportunities for tax evasion and avoidance. There are a number of new measures already in the Bill to ensure that we reduce the tax gap as far as possible. There are also measures in the Bill that deal with tax avoidance more broadly.

We have had significant success in bringing down the tax gap since 2010, as a result of the measures we have taken. I reassure the hon. Member for Gordon that we produce estimates of error and fraud, where we deem those appropriate. For example, estimates on corporation tax research and development reliefs were included in the annual reports and accounts, and we will continue to do that.

For those reasons, I believe that a separate reliefs impact assessment is not appropriate, and I ask the Committee to reject the new clauses.