Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Twelfth Report



In December 1995, the Tax Law Rewrite Project was launched with the presentation to Parliament of the report "The Path to Tax Simplification". This bill is a tax rewrite bill. Although not a consolidation bill, it is essentially intended to be a re-statement of existing law in clearer, simpler language.

The bill was considered by the Joint Committee on Tax Law Rewrite Bills earlier this year which reported that it was satisfied that the only changes that the bill made to existing law were of such minor significance that they did not need to be referred to the attention of Parliament.[2]

The bill was read a first time on 12 February and passed through all remaining legislative stages on 25 February. On the basis of a preliminary consideration, we did not take the view that a special meeting of the Committee in advance of that date was necessary. We think however that it is important, for the record, that we should set out our conclusion (in paragraph 28 below) in respect of the delegated powers in the bill.


The bill incorporates a number of changes (either conferring new powers or amendment of existing powers) relating to powers to make delegated legislation. These are described in a Note from the Tax Law Rewrite Project which is printed in Annex 3 to this Report. We note, in particular, that the new powers are either being conferred in, or in connection with, provisions that put Extra-Statutory Concessions on a statutory footing or reflect other exceptions or practices which operate in the taxpayer's favour.


We do not take the view that any of the changes amount to an inappropriate delegation of power. There is therefore nothing in the bill to which the Committee would have wished to have drawn the attention of the House prior to its passage through the House.

2   1st Report, Session 2002-03, HC 287-I, HL Paper 35-I. Back

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