HC Deb 13 July 1995 vol 263 c1080
7. Mr. French

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received about the registration of gilts. [32553]

Mrs. Angela Knight

Representations about the registration of gilts are rarely received.

Mr. French

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that answer. Is she aware of the extent to which stock held on central gilts office accounts is exposed to the risk of misregistration and misallocation, whether intentional or otherwise? As the Pensions Bill contains no provisions relating to gilts custody, will she have discussions with the Bank of England to ensure that this real risk is covered?

Mrs. Knight

My hon. Friend asks a specific and detailed question. I assure him that the Pensions Bill regulates fund managers. As my hon. Friend rightly points out, they are involved in the central gilts office; but thousands of gilts are traded each week in that office and so far not even one alleged case of a breach of security has been reported.

Mr. Stevenson

In view of the Chancellor's recent announcement that he intends to limit the scope of taxation on gilts, will the Minister assure us that the Government have no intention of extending, and will not extend, the rate of VAT in a similar spirit? Or does the Minister agree with the Chancellor that far too many goods are still exempt from VAT?

Mrs. Knight

The hon. Gentleman will have to wait until the Budget.

Mr. Clifton-Brown

I congratulate my hon. Friend on her well deserved promotion. She is one of the 1992 intake and, on behalf of that intake, I may say that we are delighted to see her.

Small, prudent savers will certainly welcome the written parliamentary answer on the taxation of gilts given to my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Southport (Mr. Banks), stating that 99 per cent. of small savers will be exempt and that they will have until April 1996 to get their investments in order. That is extremely welcome news to small savers.

Mrs. Knight

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, who makes a good point. We consulted large and small holders of gilts. I believe that the announcement that has been made satisfies everybody.

Forward to