HL Deb 27 October 1998 vol 593 cc205-6WA
Baroness Turner of Camden

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the proposed extension of National Insurance contribution liability to non-cash vouchers will impact most severely on low-paid employees in small companies since employees in larger firms whose employers provide canteens will not face increased liability; and whether they will reconsider this proposal in the light of representations made by both employers and unions. [HL3441]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham)

The Government announced on 22 July 1997 at the Second Reading of the Social Security Bill their intention to bring non-cash vouchers into liability for Class 1 National Insurance in the same way as cash vouchers. The key principles of the proposals are to bring about greater alignment of tax and National Insurance and to bring greater fairness in the NI treatment of earnings. We are currently considering our response to the points raised in the public consultation which ran from 14 August to 14 September. The vast majority of low paid workers do not receive luncheon vouchers and are therefore liable for National Insurance on all their earnings.