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(8) In the application of section 86 of the Taxes Management Act 1970 by virtue of section (7) above in relation to sums due and payable by virtue of an assessment made for the whole or part of a year of assessment ("the relevant year of assessment") under section 29(1)(c) or 30 of that Act, as applied by that subsection, the relevant date--
(a) is 1st January in the relevant year of assessment in a case where the person falling within subsection (5) above has made a relevant interim claim; and
(b) in any other case is the later of the following dates, that is to say--
(i) 1st January in the relevant year of assessment; or
(ii) the date of the making of the payment by the Board which gives rise to the assessment.
(9) The Board may by regulations make provision--
(a) for the purposes of any provision of this section which relates to any matter or thing to be specified by or done in accordance with regulations;
(b) with respect to the furnishing of information by donors or recipients, including, in the case of recipients, the inspection of books, documents and other records on behalf of the Board; and
(c) generally for giving effect to this section.
(10) In this section--
"financial year" in relation to any person, means a financial year of that person for the purposes of the relevant regulations;
"interim claim" means an interim claim within the meaning of the relevant regulations;
"relevant interim claim" means, in relation to an assessment made for a period coterminous with, or falling wholly within, a person's financial year, an interim claim made for a period falling wholly or partly within that financial year; and

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"the relevant regulations" means regulations made under subsection (9) above.
(11) Section 839 of this Act shall apply for the purposes of this section to determine whether one person is connected with another."")
The Commons disagreed to this amendment for the following reason--
130ABecause it interferes with the public revenue, and the Commons do not offer any further reason, trusting that this reason may be deemed sufficient.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 130 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 130A. The other place has disagreed with your Lordships' Amendment No. 130 because it interferes with the public revenue. It is not, therefore, a matter for this House. Taxation and tax relief are for the elected House alone to determine.

Moved, That the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 130 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 130A.--(Lord Bassam of Brighton.)

Lord Goodhart: My Lords, since another place has relied on privilege, there is nothing further that can be done with the amendment. I simply express the hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will consider the matter carefully and will persuade himself by the time of the next Budget that it is appropriate to grant tax relief for the reasons which have been expressed clearly in debates in your Lordships' House.

Lord Cope of Berkeley: My Lords, I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart. It clearly would be right for this House to defer to the privilege of the Commons which it has claimed in this matter and not to insist on the amendment.

At same time we believe that in recommending this tax relief the Neill committee was on to a good point. It should happen. However, the issue was discussed in our earlier debates. I do not need to repeat the arguments except to say that we continue to support the policy. We hope that in a more appropriate Bill, perhaps a finance Bill, the Chancellor of the Exchequer will look favourably on the proposals of the Neill committee.

Lord Simon of Glaisdale: My Lords, the Commons reason is expressed very widely and, I think, unusually, but they are undoubtedly entitled to insist on their financial privilege in this matter. I therefore respectfully agree with what the two noble Lords have said.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I am grateful for the comments of noble Lords in this brief debate. To pick up the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, the Government set out their priorities in the spending review and the Pre-Budget Report. Noble Lords are welcome at any time to make representations on particular matters of this nature. There is nothing else that can be properly said on the issue at this stage.

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On Question, Motion agreed to.

Lord Carter: My Lords, I am sure that the House is aware that we shall now have to adjourn during pleasure to await the Commons message on the Disqualifications Bill. That is likely to arrive at about four o'clock, so I propose to adjourn until then. We will then resume to receive the message and adjourn again for about 30 minutes to enable any amendments to be tabled. We shall then continue with the consideration of the Commons amendments. I beg to move that the House do now adjourn during pleasure until 4 p.m.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

[The Sitting was suspended from 11.41 a.m. to 4 p.m.]

Lord Carter: My Lords, I understand that we have to wait to receive a Message from the Commons. The advice is that we should now adjourn during pleasure until 4.30 p.m., by which time we shall be certain to have received a message. We shall then adjourn again for only 10 minutes in order to allow an amendment to be tabled. Therefore, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn during pleasure until 4.30 p.m.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

[The Sitting was suspended from 4.1 to 4.30 p.m.]

Message from the Commons

A Message was brought from the Commons, That they agree to certain of the amendments made by your Lordships to the Disqualifications Bill without amendment and they disagree to the remaining amendment, for which they assign a reason.

Lord Carter: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn during pleasure until 4.40 p.m.

Moved accordingly and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

[The Sitting was suspended from 4.31 to 4.40 p.m.]

Disqualifications Bill

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): My Lords, I beg to move that the Commons reason be now considered.

Moved, That the Commons reason be now considered.--(Lord Falconer of Thoroton.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

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[The page and line refer to HL Bill 25 as first printed for the Lords.]

1Clause 1, leave out Clause 1
The Commons disagreed to this amendment for the following reason--
1ABecause it is appropriate to remove the disqualification for membership of the House of Commons and Northern Ireland Assembly of members of the legislature of Ireland (the Oireachtas).

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 1, to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 1A.

The Disqualifications Bill is back before this House today following the decision by the other place to reject your Lordships' amendment to leave out Clause 1. The Government resisted this amendment in the other place and were supported in that position by 338 votes to 129--a large and conclusive majority.

The elected Chamber of this Parliament has now clearly indicated its wishes with regard to this Bill and I hope that your Lordships will recognise the legitimacy of that view and respect the wishes of the House on which this Bill will have a bearing. Before asking this House to indicate whether or not it intends to insist on its original amendment, I should like to use this opportunity once again, briefly, to set out the Government's position in relation to the Bill in the hope that at this late stage, now that the other place has given its opinion on the matter, your Lordships will be persuaded against insisting on the original amendment to remove Clause 1 from the Bill.

Perhaps I can take head on two arguments made in earlier debates. One is that this Bill is not wanted by anyone other than Sinn Fein; the other is the claim that we are engaged in an unjustified and discreditable attempt to appease republicans who have yet to abandon violence unequivocally.

I take the first argument. The Bill has the support of the SDLP which has courageously stood up for constitutional nationalist principles for many years. I know that my noble friend Lord Fitt takes a different view of the matter from his former colleagues in the SDLP. But that is their considered position and it is right that the House should give due weight to it.

The Bill also has the wholehearted support of the Irish Government. I urge the House to reflect on the contribution which successive Dublin governments have made to the peace process over the past few years. We have our separate interests. There have been and will continue to be occasions when we disagree. But when we can proceed together on an agreed basis, we should do so, for that is in the best interests of sustaining confidence in the political process, not only in Northern Ireland, but also throughout these islands. That relationship between Ireland and the United

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Kingdom was proved in the negotiations which resulted in the Belfast agreement. It was the British and Irish Governments working together with the parties which made it possible to reach agreement. Throughout the difficult process which led to that agreement, and subsequently when we experienced setbacks in the full implementation of the agreement, the Irish Government were key players in bringing the political process back on track, sometimes at substantial cost and in the face of personal tragedy.

Our relationship with Ireland has been strengthened not only by the Belfast agreement, but also by the British-Irish agreement which replaced the Anglo-Irish Agreement. Under the new agreement, the Irish Government fulfilled their commitment to amend Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish constitution, a move supported by 94 per cent of their electorate.

This Bill also has the support of a number of the smaller parties in Northern Ireland, including the Alliance Party and the Women's Coalition, neither of which could, by any stretch of the imagination, be described as fellow travellers of the republican movement. The crucial point is that it reflects the Government's view of what, in a modest way, will help to break down some of the old barriers that were necessary for as long as the Republic maintained a constitutional claim to a part of the United Kingdom but are no longer justified in the light of the new situation created by the Belfast agreement.

I turn to the second argument that this is somehow part of an appeasement process. I recognise that assurances from me to the contrary will fail to persuade those noble Lords who are disposed to believe the worst. However, I ask how it can possibly be regarded as appeasement of the paramilitaries when the effect of the Bill is to increase the opportunity to pursue legitimate political objectives through properly elected legislative bodies. If someone is able to persuade the electorate of a constituency in Northern Ireland and of a constituency in the Republic to send him or her to represent them both in Dublin and Belfast, or in Dublin and London, or any combination of the three, do we need to prohibit that by law? That is the effect of the restrictions in the present Disqualifications Act. In the Government's view, those restrictions no longer serve any useful purpose.

Democracy is not something about which we need to be frugal or grudging in these islands. It is for the people to decide who they wish to represent them in their elected assemblies and parliaments. Let us give them the most generous possible choice and place no unnecessary barriers in their way. In a modest way, this Bill increases that choice. The House of Commons has confirmed that it wishes the old restrictions on its membership and that of the Northern Ireland Assembly to be lifted. I urge the House not to insist on an amendment which, by completely undermining this Bill, would be contrary to the new spirit of British/Irish relations, which we should all be committed to nurturing.

I should like to mention that the Liberal Democrats have consistently supported this Bill, believing it to represent a modest contribution to the peace process.

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We are grateful for that. They have made points about the process by which the Bill has progressed through Parliament. This is not the place to defend that process. However, we believe that the benefit of the Bill is worthwhile.

Moved, That the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 1 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numberered 1A.--(Lord Falconer of Thoroton.)

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