asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he will estimate the expenditure that will be incurred preparatory to the introduction of the payroll tax.
If it were decided to impose a surcharge on employers under Clause 30 of the Finance Bill, the preparatory expenditure would be likely to be something under £30,000.
Has the right hon. Gentleman not been given any warning by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that this is very likely in the very near future, and can he say, in those circumstances, whether any estimate has been made of the number of additional employees that his Department will be likely to need as a result of its introduction?
I do not think that either question arises out of the main Question. In any event, the hon. Gentleman is too old a Parliamentary hand to assume that I am so young a Parliamentary hand as to fall for that one.
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what changes will be necessary in the present method of payment and recording of employers' contribution under the National Insurance schemes on the introduction of the payroll tax.
There would be none, Sir.
16 and 17.
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (1) what preliminary arrangements he has made for the administration of the payroll tax, as far as it affects his Department;(2) if his departmental arrangements for the administration of the payroll tax have been completed.
If it were decided to introduce a surcharge on employers under Clause 30 of this year's Finance Bill, the procedure so far as my Department is concerned would not differ significantly from that followed when rates of contribution are increased. No special arrangements would, therefore, be necessary.
Are we to take it from that answer that the right hon. Gentleman has made no provisional arrangements, and are we to assume, therefore, that the Government will drop the scheme?
If the hon. Member studies my Answer, he will appreciate that if such a decision were to be taken no provisional arrangements would be required. Therefore, the second part of his supplementary question does not arise.
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether higher value stamps are now being printed and, if not, how long it will take to get the new contribution stamps into circulation from the date of an announcement about the operation of Clause 30 of the Finance Bill?
The time required would depend on the circumstances at the time. I know nothing of any printing of stamps.
Can the right hon. Gentleman say what is the usual time lag between an announcement of increased contributions and the actual stamping on the existing card?
It varies very widely, as the hon. Member may recall, dependent, among other things, on the time of year.
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he will state the estimated cost to his Department, in respect of all employed persons, of a payroll tax at the maximum rate.
A surcharge on employers under Clause 30 of the Finance Bill would cost my Department virtually nothing extra to collect. About £7,900 a week would be payable for the surcharge in respect of our own staff.