MPs debate remaining stages of the National Insurance Contributions Bill

10 December 2013

MPs debated the remaining stages of the National Insurance Contributions Bill in the House of Commons, as both the report stage and third reading of the Bill took place on Tuesday 10 December 2013.

Related information

Summary of the National Insurance Contributions Bill

In his Budget speech on 20 March 2013 the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced the introduction of a new Employment Allowance: from April 2014 businesses, charities and community sports clubs would be entitled to claim up to £2,000 from their annual payment of secondary Class 1 National Insurance contributions (NICs). Class 1 NICs are paid by both employees and employers on the employee’s earnings.

The employee’s share is known as the primary contribution, the employer’s as the secondary contribution. Employers are liable to pay secondary Class 1 NICs at 13.8% on all employee earnings above the secondary threshold, set at £148 a week. This tax cut is estimated to cost £1.26 billion in 2014/15, rising to £1.73 billion by 2017/18.

The main purpose of the National Insurance Contributions Bill 2013-14 is to implement the new allowance. The Bill also contains a number of miscellaneous measures announced in Budget 2013 relating to the scope of NICs.

Progress of the Bill

This Government Bill was presented to Parliament on 14 October 2013. This is known as the first reading and there was no debate on the Bill at this stage.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation, including amendment papers, on the National Insurance Contributions Bill and find out how a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

House of Commons Library Analysis

The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial. The Library has published a briefing paper for the second reading.

What is the report stage of a bill?

The report stage gives MPs an opportunity, on the floor of the House, to consider any further amendments (proposals for change) to a bill which has been examined in a public bill committee or on the floor of the House. There is no set time period between the end of committee stage and the start of the report stage.

What happens at report stage?

All MPs may speak and vote. For lengthy or complex bills, the debates may be spread over several days. All MPs can suggest amendments to the bill or new clauses (parts) that they think should be added.

What happens after report stage?

Report stage is usually followed immediately by debate on the bill's third reading.

What happens at third reading?

Debate on the bill is usually short, and limited to what is actually in the bill, rather than, as at second reading, what might have been included.

Amendments (proposals for change) cannot be made to a bill at a third reading in the Commons. At the end of the debate, the House decides whether to approve the third reading of the bill.

What happens after third reading?

If the bill started in the Commons it goes to the House of Lords for its first reading.

If the bill started in the Lords it returns to the House of Lords for consideration of any amendments the Commons has made.

Watching proceedings from the public gallery

UK residents and overseas visitors can watch proceedings in the House of Commons by visiting the public gallery.

Image: iStock

This article was produced by the Commons Digital Outreach Team. Follow @HouseofCommons on Twitter for updates on the UK House of Commons Chamber.

More news on: Parliament, government and politics, Economy and finance, Taxation, Parliament, Commons news, Bill news, National insurance

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