Deductions from seafarers’ earnings

Part of Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:30 am ar 9 Ionawr 2018.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General 10:30, 9 Ionawr 2018

Clause 7 would provide certainty that employees of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary—the RFA—can claim seafarers’ earnings deduction. Most UK residents pay UK tax on all their earned income wherever it arises, but seafarers are entitled to a 100% deduction from income tax for their foreign earnings in certain circumstances. The deduction is available provided that at least half of the qualifying period of 365 days is spent outside the United Kingdom, and that no more than 183 consecutive days are spent in the UK during that period. The tax treatment recognises the importance of the maritime industry to our country, and helps to maintain the competitiveness of the UK in an international market. Around 20,000 seafarers currently claim the deduction each year, and of those around 900 individuals are from the RFA.

The civilian-manned RFA delivers worldwide logistical and operational support for tasks undertaken by the Royal Navy, and it plays a crucial role supporting counter-piracy, humanitarian relief, disaster relief and counter-narcotics operations. Currently those individuals claim the deduction, but it is on a concessionary rather than a legislative basis. The changes in clause 7 provide certainty that the employees of the RFA are eligible for the deduction by placing it on a statutory footing. The RFA plays a crucial role, and it is right that its employees are eligible for the deduction in the same way as other seafarers. This clause provides certainty for RFA employees. I believe the Committee should welcome it and I commend it to the Committee.