§ 2. Mr. Peter Bottomley
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the policy of the Inland Revenue in respect of charging penalty tax for a period before retroactive primary legislation is passed.
§ The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Francis Maude)
That depends on the provisions of the legislation.
§ Mr. Bottomley
As the problem which prompted the question has been resolved by the Inland Revenue, will my hon. Friend pass on to its staff the thanks of many Members of Parliament for dealing with issues that we have raised on behalf of our constituents and say that we hope that the problems will continue to decline as tax rates come down rather than go up?
§ Mr. Maude
On behalf of the Inland Revenue, not always the best loved department of Government, I accept the kind compliments that my hon. Friend has paid to it; I am sure that they will be echoed in all parts of the House. The Inland Revenue does a difficult job in difficult circumstances extremely well.
My hon. Friend is right to make the point that the job of tax collecting is very much easier with a tax system based, as ours increasingly is, on low rates of tax.