1.In its letter to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs of 17 November 2017, the Joint Committee requested a memorandum on the following point:
Explain how the Northern Ireland Department for Communities was able to concur in the making of the Regulations three days before they were made by the Treasury.
2.This memorandum has been prepared by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs on behalf of H.M. Treasury.
3.These regulations were made by the Treasury in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 4A(1), (3) and (4), 175(4) and paragraph 8(1)(q) of Schedule 1 to the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (SSCBA) and the equivalent provisions of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 (SSCB(NI)A). Section 4A(8) of the SSCBA provides that regulations under this section shall be made by the Treasury with the concurrence of the Secretary of State. Section 4A(8) of the SSCB(NI)A provides that regulations under this section shall be made by the Treasury with the concurrence of the Department.
4.Before making the regulations, the concurrence of the Northern Ireland Department for Communities and the Secretary of State was obtained. Those consents were obtained on 10 March 2017 and 13 March 2017 respectively.
5.We consider that concurrence here means agreement and that once the agreement has been obtained (as it was here on 10 and 13 March 2017) that agreement continues (unless withdrawn) to the making (here on 13 March 2017). Neither SSCBA nor SSCB(NI)A provide for the timing of concurrence. It would be logistically difficult, if not impossible, for the agreement of the Northern Ireland Department for Communities and the Secretary of State to be obtained at the same time. However, we do not consider that it is essential for both concurrence and the making of the regulations to take place simultaneously, merely that agreement is obtained to the making, as it was here three days before the regulations were made.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
21 November 2017
30 November 2017