HC Deb 31 January 1996 vol 270 cc823-4W
Mrs. Lait

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to reduce burdens on business. [13225]

Mr. Heald

We plan to make two changes which, although in themselves small, will nevertheless contribute to our aim of reducing burdens on business.

First, we have today published a consultation document, "Reducing Burdens on Business: Proposed Changes for Directors' National Insurance Contributions". Subject to the responses, we will consider the best way of making the necessary legislative change, including an order under the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994. Today's document therefore constitutes formal consultation under section 3(1) of the Act. Responses to the document must be received no later than Friday 29 March 1996 when the consultation period will end.

The document has been sent to 38 organisations in Great Britain—and a further 12 in Northern Ireland—seeking their views about proposals to modify the present

Income support preserved rights cases with weekly accommodation charge above income support limits: women aged 60 and over in residential care homes
A. By standard region and type of care
Great Britain Wales Scotland England
All residential care 34,000 2,000 2,000 31,000
Type of care
Elderly People 15,000 1,000 1,000 14,000
Very dependent elderly 15,000 1,000 1,000 14,000
Mental illness 1,000 1,000
Mental handicap
Drug or alcohol dependence 1,000 1,000
Physical disability above pension age 1,000 1,000
Any other category

rules under which directors and their employers pay national insurance contributions. The annual amount they are liable to pay will not change.

Secondly, we propose to bring the regulations governing national insurance contributions into greater alignment with the PAYE tax system. As one of a number of similar changes from April 1996 we propose to adopt the Inland Revenue definition of a company in the regulation dealing with the treatment of payments made to certain professional advisor and nominee directors.

Copies of the consultation document have been placed in the Library.