Paymaster general Dawn Primarolo announced the move in a written statement to the Commons dealing with fears that armed forces’ reservists could lose out badly as a result of obeying the government’s call to arms.
The fear was that they would no longer fulfil service conditions behind the tax concessions involved in their civilian employers’ Revenue approved share schemes during their period of active service.
Primarolo told MPs: ‘The ESC will ensure as far as practicable that reservists who are members of such schemes continue to benefit from the tax and national insurance contributions advantages such schemes offer.
‘The ESC will be retrospective back to 7 January 2003, the date the first call-up order was issued by the secretary of state for defence and will be followed up with legislation in next year’s Finance Bill (2004).’
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