HC Deb 04 March 1981 vol 1000 c355 9.30 pm
Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I beg to move amendment No. 9, in page 5, line 9 after 'records', insert 'and to furnish to the Authority such information'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bernard Weatherill)

With this we may take Government amendment No. 10.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

The amendment provides a power under which persons liable to pay the authority's levy can be required to send to the authority information about their levy liability. Under the clause as drafted, persons can be required to keep levy records, but in order to assess their liability for levy the authority must send its officers to the premises in which records are kept.

That would clearly be a large task, and it would be expensive for the authority to employ appropriate numbers of inspectors. Of course, the cost would have to be met out of the levy. To simplify the bureaucracy that would be involved and to minimise the cost, amendment No. 9 gives power to require information about the levy to be sent to the authority. Amendment No. 10 makes it an offence to furnish false information in so doing.

The White Fish Authority has a slightly different power, in that it can require information to be sent to it, and failure to supply that information when requested can lead to punishment. All that we are doing here is giving the new authority the same powers as the White Fish Authority. At the same time, we hope to reduce bureaucracy and expense. I hope that the amendment will commend itself to the House.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment made: No. 10, in page 5, line 29, after 'record', insert 'or furnishes any information'.—[Mr. Buchanan-Smith.]

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