Treasury acts to prevent double taxation.

The Treasury has acted to prevent incidences of double taxation on the introduction of its climate change levy. Financial Secretary Stephen Timms said it acted because a particular commodity producer who uses gas to produce electricity which is used to clean gas was deemed to be making a supply of electricity to himself.

He announced the government had decided to make regulations to deal with any other cases of double taxation that arise instead of dealing with the individual case.

The government has over-ridden Tory objections to a penal 10 percentage point addition to the interest rate charged on climate change levy under declarations. Customs Commissioners are entitled to issue inflated assessments to CCL in the absence of trader declarations, according to Timms. He insisted it was ‘a fair inference’ where a trader paid up an earlier estimated assessment in the absence of a return that he had got off lightly – and take that into account in pitching the following year’s estimate.

Forget the view that Customs are staffed by unreasoning bureaucrats determined to extract the last pound of flesh. In Timms’ view during Finance Bill Committee debates, ‘Customs & Excise does, of course, act reasonably – by definition’.

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