Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Thirtieth Report



APPENDIX 3

Memorandum by Inland Revenue

THE SOCIAL SECURITY (CONTRIBUTIONS) (AMENDMENT NO. 7) REGULATIONS 2000 (S.I. 2000/2077) (AND NORTHERN IRELAND CORRESPONDING REGULATIONS S.I. 2000/2078)

THE SOCIAL SECURITY (CONTRIBUTIONS) (AMENDMENT NO. 6) REGULATIONS 2000 S.I. 2000/2084) (AND NORTHERN IRELAND CORRESPONDING REGULATIONS S.I. 2000/2086)

THE SOCIAL SECURITY (CONTRIBUTIONS) (AMENDMENT NO. 8) REGULATIONS 2000 (S.I. 2000/2207) (AND NORTHERN IRELAND CORRESPONDING REGULATIONS S.I. 2000/2208)

1. In his letter dated 25th October to the Departments of Health and of Social Security and copied to the Board of Inland Revenue, the Commons Clerk of the Joint Committee states that the Committee has instructed him to request the submission of a memorandum on the following point:

    "These Instruments amend the Social Security (Contributions) Regulations 1979, which according to the footnotes to the Instruments have already been amended more than 30 times. The consequential complexity is illustrated by the need to insert a new paragraph (zaa) in regulation 19(1) and a new regulation 22 HA, and by the reference to a regulation 19(1)(zh)(ii). It is doubtful whether even the specialist can confidently establish the exact text of legislation in this form. Explain what consideration has been give to, and progress made with, the consolidation of this complex body of secondary legislation.".

2. In his letter dated 25th October to the Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland, the Commons Clerk of the Joint Committee requested the submission of a memorandum on the same point as that set out in paragraph 1 above in relation to the corresponding Northern Ireland Regulations listed in the heading to this memorandum.

3. The relevant regulation-making powers for the Regulations listed in the heading to this memorandum were transferred to the Treasury and the Inland Revenue by the Social Security Contributions (Transfer of Functions, etc.) Act 1999 (c.2) and the Social Security Contributions (Transfer of Functions, etc.) (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/671). Accordingly in consolidating the Regulations relating to national insurance contributions the opportunity is being taken to combine the two sets of statutory instruments (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) in a single instrument applicable to the whole of the United Kingdom. There may of course be provisions which are applicable only to a part of the United Kingdom.

4. Both the Treasury and the Inland Revenue are very conscious of the need to consolidate as soon as possible the Regulations relating to national insurance contributions. To that end a consultant was engaged to work on the consolidation until April of this year, but since that time it has proved difficult to produce a text of the consolidation owing to the large number of amendments being made this year to the Social Security (Contributions) Regulations 1979 (S.I. 1979/591) and their Northern Ireland equivalent (S.R. 1979 No. 186). The latest amendments are those contained in the Social Security (Contributions) (Amendment No. 9) Regulations 2000 (S.I. 2000/2343) (for Northern Ireland S.I. 2000/2743). It is proposed that there should be a final set of amending instruments (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) to be made and laid before Parliament next month (November). This set will incorporate some minor policy changes so as to produce a greater alignment between the income tax and national insurance contributions treatment of credit-tokens, cash vouchers and non-cash vouchers. In addition it will effect some drafting improvements and restructuring of the text so as to make it easier for users to understand.

5. Following the making and laying of the final amending instruments as mentioned in paragraph 4 above, it is hoped that the consolidated text will be made and laid before Christmas of this year, as soon as possible after the separate statutory instrument referred to in paragraph 3 of the memorandum submitted by the Department of Social Security dated 31 October in response to the Committee.

31 October 2000


 
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