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Saving Gateway Accounts


These notes refer to the Lords Amendments to the Saving Gateway Accounts Bill, as brought from the House of Lords on 17 June 2009 [Bill 118]




1. These explanatory notes relate to the Lords Amendments to the Saving Gateway Accounts Bill, as brought from the House of Lords on 17 June 2009. The notes have been prepared by the Treasury in order to assist the reader of both the Bill and the Lords Amendments, and to help inform debate on the Lords Amendments. They do not form part of the Bill and have not been endorsed by Parliament.

2. These notes, like the Lords Amendments themselves, refer to HL Bill 25 (Rev), the Bill as first printed for the Lords.

3. These notes need to be read in conjunction with the Lords Amendments and the text of the Bill. They are not, and are not meant to be, a comprehensive description of the effect of the Lords Amendments.

4. All the amendments made to this Bill in the Lords were tabled by the Government.

Bill 118—EN                                              54/4 COMMENTARY ON LORDS AMENDMENTS

Lords Amendments 1 and 2

5.     Amendment 1 would add Carer’s Allowance to the list of benefits and tax credits at clause 3(2). The effect would be to make people who are entitled to Carer’s Allowance eligible for the Saving Gateway. However, this would be qualified by amendment 2, the effect of which would be that only those people who are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance would be made eligible. Those people with only an underlying entitlement to Carer’s Allowance, to whom the allowance is not payable under the overlapping benefits rules set out in regulations made under section 73 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 1, would not be eligible for the Saving Gateway by virtue of this entitlement. Such people will however be eligible for the Saving Gateway if they are entitled to one or more of the other benefits or tax credits set out in clause 3(2).

    1   Social Security Administration Act 1992 (c. 4). See the Social Security (Overlapping Benefits) Regulations 1979 (S.I. 1979/597, as amended)

6.     Amendments 1 and 2 would make an estimated 300,000 additional people eligible for the Saving Gateway.

Lords Amendments 3, 4 and 5

7. Subsection (2)(a) of clause 4 of the Bill specifies that the maturity period for Saving Gateway accounts is to be prescribed in regulations. Amendment 3 would prevent regulations made under this subsection from prescribing a maturity period of less than 12 months. The Government has previously announced that it intends to set the maturity period for Saving Gateway accounts at 24 months.

8.     Amendments 4 and 5 would make consequential amendments to clause 4.

Lords Amendment 6

9.     This would amend the meaning of ‘Northern Ireland Social Security Commissioner’ in the Bill, so that it was consistent with that set out in the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998. 2

    2   SI 1998/1506 (N.I. 10) (Social Security Appeals: Northern Ireland).

Lords Amendment 7

10.     Amendment 7 would introduce a requirement that HMRC must make arrangements for independent review of the Saving Gateway. The amendment would also set out some of the matters that would be considered by the review; would provide that HMRC must consult the Treasury before making arrangements for the review; would provide that HMRC must provide the results and conclusions of the review to the Treasury; and would provide that HM Treasury must lay a report, setting out the review’s results and conclusions, before Parliament within seven years of clause 6 of the Bill (account opening) coming into force.

Lords Amendment 8

11.     Amendment 8 would add the powers at: clause 4(2)(a) (in relation to the length of the account maturity period); clause 4(3) (in relation to the amount that can be paid into a Saving Gateway account within any month); and clause 6(5) (in relation to the number of Saving Gateway accounts that can be held by any person, or the minimum period between accounts) to the list of regulation making powers that will be subject to the affirmative procedure on every use, as set out in clause 27(4).

12. In relation to the matters covered by these regulation making powers, the Government has announced its intention to provide in regulations that the maturity period for an account will be 24 months; that £25 will be the monthly limit for deposits to Saving Gateway accounts; and that no person should be able to hold more than one Saving Gateway account during their lifetime.

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Prepared: 19 June 2009