HC Deb 07 June 1956 vol 553 cc1468-9
Mr. Arbuthnot

I beg to move, in page 10, line 7, to leave out from "Kingdom" to the first "the" in line 9.

The law as it stands provides that the question of where a person has a place of residence is a material factor in deciding his taxation. This Clause intends that when somebody is to be employed full-time and wholly outside the United Kingdom the question of whether he is resident in the United Kingdom should not be taken into account.

The Amendment is to delete the provision which requires that immediately before fulfilling that condition he must have been resident or ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom. We see no merit in the restriction of this Clause, which says that immediately before fulfilling the condition he must have been resident in the United Kingdom.

Therefore, without wasting further time at this late hour, I move the Amendment because I feel that this provision really is unnecessary and is restrictive, and that the purpose which my right hon. Friend has in mind can be fulfilled equally well without those words.

Mr. H. Brooke

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for drawing the attention of the Committee to this point. It does appear that this sort of case might arise. For example, a man in Australia might take up employment in a United Kingdom company somewhere in the Middle East, establishing his family in this country; but if he moved straight from Australia to the Middle East he would not gain the advantage of this Clause as drafted. If, however, he came to this country for a time, and was then moved out to the Middle East, he would gain the advantage.

That seems somewhat anomalous and there seems to be a great deal in the case which my hon. Friend has put to the Committee. I would not think that we should be going too wide if we removed these restrictive words; on the contrary, I think that by so doing we should also remove a possible injustice and I recommend to the Committee that the Amendment be accepted.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill.

Sir P. Spens

I should like to raise very briefly one point. From the opening words of the Clause, Where a person fulfils the condition that he performs the duties of one or more offices or employments full-time … it seems doubtful whether persons who are professionally employed or are partners in firms are included.

This point has been brought to my notice from Calcutta, where there are a number of British citizens professionally employed or working as partners in firms—even in a well-known publishing company—and I should be grateful if we could be told if such self-employed people are, or are not, intended to benefit from this Clause. Doubts have been expressed about the wording and I wonder whether the Chancellor would consider that and, I hope, include such persons as those to whom I have referred if they are not included at present.

Mr. H. Brooke

My right hon. and learned Friend has suggested that these words require further consideration. I should not like to give him an answer on the spur of the moment, especially at this hour of the morning, but I appreciate that there may be a point of substance in what he says. If he will allow us to pass this Clause, I will undertake to examine these words very carefully and, if it does appear that they might constitute an injustice to any class of persons, we will consider tabling an Amendment for the Report stage. That may not be necessary, but I promise that a decision will be made.

Sir P. Spens

I thank my right hon. Friend.

Question put and agreed to.