• Research Briefing

    Tax relief for private medical insurance

    In 1990 a new tax relief for private medical insurance, paid for those aged 60 and over, was introduced. In 1997 the then Labour Government abolished this relief on the grounds of cost, and the view that it had failed to encourage take-up. This note discusses the short life of this tax relief, and recent debate as to whether it should be reintroduced.

  • Research Briefing

    Scotland Bill: Committee Stage Report

    This is a report on the Commons committee stage of the Scotland Bill 2010-12. Introduced to the House of Commons on 30 November 2010, its second reading was on 27 January 2011, and its committee stage took place on the floor of the House on 7, 14 and 15 March 2011. Report and third reading are scheduled for 21 June 2011. On 13 June 2011 the Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, announced a package of changes to the Bill in response to issues that had been raised in the UK and Scottish Parliaments, and by the Scottish Government.

  • Research Briefing

    Income tax and Members’ expenses

    This note sets out the background to and extent of the provisions that applied to Members’ allowances administered by the House. It gives details of the changes proposed in the Budget, and enacted in the Finance (No 2) Act 2010.

  • Research Briefing

    Scotland Bill [Bill No 115 of 2010-11]

    The Scotland Bill was published on 30 November 2010, and is scheduled for second reading on 27 January 2011. The Bill contains provisions to give the Scottish Parliament greater responsibility for raising its own revenue, in addition the borrowing powers of the Scottish Government are extended. The Bill also changes the boundary of devolved powers by amending some of the reserved matters in the Scotland Act 1998. Some new matters are devolved, some are reserved. The Bill also proposes small changes to provisions concerning the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government.

  • Research Briefing

    National Insurance Contributions Bill: Committee Stage Report

    The National Insurance Contributions Bill increases the rates of National Insurance contributions (NICs) paid by employees, employers and the self-employed from April 2011 – and provides for the regional employer contributions holiday for new businesses. The Bill was published on 14 October and given a second reading in the Commons on 23 November. It was considered in Public Bill Committee in four sittings between 2 and 9 December. It was not amended.

  • Research Briefing

    National Insurance Contributions Bill [Bill 79 of 2010-11]

    In its first Budget on 22 June 2010 the Coalition Government confirmed that the rates of National Insurance contributions (NICs) for employees, employers and the self-employed would rise by 1% from April 2011. The Government also stated that it would legislate to introduce a three-year regional NICs ‘holiday’ for new employers. Under the scheme new businesses may qualify for a deduction of up to £5,000 from the employer NICs that would normally be due, for each of the first ten employees they take on in their first year of business. However, new businesses in Greater London, the South East Region and the Eastern Region are specifically excluded from the scheme. The purpose of this Bill is to implement these two measures.

  • Research Briefing

    Finance (No.2) Bill 2010

    The Finance (No.2) Bill contains a series of minor and technical measures, most of which were announced in the then Labour Government's March 2010 Budget. The enactment of these measures was delayed by the timing of the 2010 General Election. In its first Budget on 22 June, the Coalition Government announced it would introduce two Finance Bills in 2010: the first to be passed for the summer recess to implement its key priorities, the second to be introuced in the autumn to clear these inherited measures. This note sets out the chronology of these events and a checklist of the Bill's contents.

  • Research Briefing

    Child Benefit for higher rate taxpayers

    At the Conservative Party Conference in October 2010 the Chancellor announced that from January 2013 Child Benefit would be withdrawn from families with a higher rate taxpayer. This note looks at the background to the announcement and at reactions to it. Revised proposals for a “High Income Child Benefit Charge” were presented in Budget 2012 under which Child Benefit would instead be clawed back from families where the highest earner had an income in excess of £50,000. Further details can be found in Library briefing SN06299, Child Benefit for higher income families.