TREASURY – PAYE UNDERPAYMENTS – 8 September 2010

Dr Julian Lewis: I am tempted to ask whether the person who designed the computer system for HMRC is the same as the person who designed the computer system for claiming MPs' expenses, but I shall resist, and instead ask the Minister this: why has he alighted on the period of only three years for people to make payments? Is it not the case that people on very low incomes may need longer if they are hit with particularly large bills?

[The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury (Mr David Gauke): The period of three years is one in which we have confidence that HMRC will be able to address the matter administratively. Beyond that, certain technical matters would need to be thought through. However, we are confident that HMRC is capable of addressing the matter over three years.]