§ Mr. Nigel Jones
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he plans to take in respect of sole traders, partnerships and small companies in the construction industry who do not qualify for tax certificates as regards their position under the new deduction regulations; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Dawn Primarolo
We shall be introducing legislation in the next Finance Bill to amend the rules of the new construction industry scheme which is due to take effect from 1 August 1999. That will make it easier for many small and medium businesses to obtain gross payment certificates. Those who do not qualify for certificates will be paid with deductions made on account of tax and national insurance contributions (NICs), but they will not ultimately be liable for any more tax and NICs than if they held certificates. The Inland Revenue has consulted widely with construction industry representative bodies on the design of the new scheme and has published guidance and set up telephone helplines for contractors and subcontractors.