Clause 82 - Approval requirement: producers

Part of Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:00 pm ar 16 Mai 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Gareth Davies Gareth Davies The Exchequer Secretary 4:00, 16 Mai 2023

Let me respond to those questions in turn, but I will come to the post-duty point dilution last, if that is okay. I was asked about scrutiny in the first instance by the Labour spokesperson, the hon. Member for Erith and Thamesmead. The powers mirror those that we have already, and we are putting exactly the same procedures in place in the Bill, but I will outline, and give an example of, how the Government could use the powers.

The powers allow HMRC to make adjustments to the new reforms by regulation, if needed. It will have that flexibility, given the scale and novelty of the reforms. That is a sensible precaution to allow HMRC to make changes quickly if the reforms are not working as intended. Today, reviewing and tweaking as necessary have come up consistently. We are carrying over a lot of the legislation, and this is one power, in particular, that we are able to use.

The overarching policy is one of simplification and putting in place a simpler, streamlined process, where we have one single approval process for all alcohol products, to answer the hon. Member for Wallasey. She also asked about HMRC’s readiness and, as I have already said, I have full confidence in our colleagues at HMRC to be able to process the changes and—she also asked about this—to enforce the rules, regulations and laws we are putting in place. Furthermore, we are looking to deliver a digitised application process, which will happen at a later date, once robust systems are put in place. As she would rightly expect, we want to get that absolutely right for producers first.

Let me directly answer the question of post-duty point dilution. The hon. Member for Aberdeen North raised that with my predecessor in 2018, and she is a great champion of her constituent, who raised the issue with her. Following the question to my predecessor, we introduced post-duty point dilution specifically to address wine, I think. We now go further by extending the provisions to all alcohol products and not just wine. That goes back to the overarching principle that we are trying to impose a consistent, simplified approach to all alcohol categories. That is why we are doing it, and we believe that it is impactful. I have no anecdotes, but if I obtain any, I will certainly write to her.