Blog archive - 2017

Treasury questions was held this week, with the usual wide range of questions from MPs.

HMRC Chief Executive Jon Thompson and other officials appeared before the PAC to answer questions on Customs and Brexit. Ahead of the hearing he wrote to PAC chair Meg Hillier to update her and the Committee on the delivery of the Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

A House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee report says no proper justification has been offered for the minimum six-week wait for universal credit, with a resultant link to problem debt, foodbank use and rent arrears. The Committee has found flaws in the argument used by the Government that this wait reflects how people are paid in work and not taken much solace in the DWP offering Advance Payments to mitigate some of the unwelcome consequences of the current design of universal credit.

A Public Accounts Committee report has said British business is being ‘hit hard’ by unfair and illegal tax practices by overseas competitors using online trading platforms.

A live blog on the fifth and sixth public bill committee sittings of Finance Bill 2017-19, which took place on Tuesday 24 October 2017 at 9.25am and 2pm.

Scottish Government Minister Jamie Hepburn told an event organised by the CIOT and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) that there are significant reasons to be concerned by the growth of the gig economy and a rise in the use of zero hours contracts.

Universal Credit (UC) aims to simplify benefits by merging six benefits into one and asking people to deal with only one part of Government. Labour used one of their ‘opposition days’ to hold a Commons debate on the UC roll-out of. About 90 MPs wanted to speak. The roll-out continues with 55 areas this month. There was a vote at the end of the debate in which Labour’s motion was approved 299-0, mainly because Conservative MPs (under orders from the party whips) abstained. The result means the House of Commons has called on the Government to pause the roll-out of UC. While the result of the vote is non-binding on the Government it is a symbolic victory for Labour. Speaker John Bercow caused controversy by stating that, following the vote: "A minister from the government should come to the House and show respect to the institution and say what it intends to do."

A liveblog on the fourth public bill committee sitting of Finance Bill 2017-19, which took place on the afternoon of Thursday 19 October 2017. Covers clauses 29-42 of the Bill, including deemed domicile, overseas property and disguised remuneration.

A liveblog on the third public bill committee sitting of Finance Bill 2017-19 . Debate started from clause 20, on corporate interest deductiblity, and also covered tax reliefs for museum exhibitions and grassroots sport, the patent box and the substantial shareholding exemption. Two government amendments were passed.

A liveblog on the second sitting of Finance Bill Public Bill Committee. Starting from clause 10, MPs considered topics including EIS and VCTs, social investment tax relief, the new trading and property allowances and changes to corporation tax including treatment of carried-forward losses.