§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any statement to make on the impact of the pay-roll tax on charities.]
§ LORD SHEPHERD
My Lords, I regret that I cannot add to what I said on two previous occasions on this matter. But my noble friend will have seen that the Chancellor of the Exchequer received a deputation from the National Council of Social Service and the Churches Main Committee last Friday, and he reaffirmed that it was his intention to provide charities with relief from the effects of this particular tax.
My Lords, I wish to take this first possible opportunity of thanking Her Majesty's Government for a concession which relieves charities from a situation in which many of them had reason to fear for their own continuance. I wish particularly to thank the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, for the sympathetic way in which he received my Questions at the end of the last Session, and for his good offices which I am sure were in the background. Although I in no way have a mandate to speak for charities, 1 know that nearly all charities agree with what I have just said.
§ LORD INCHYRA
My Lords, may I, on behalf of one of the charities concerned, the British Red Cross Society, echo what the noble Lord has said, and express our gratification at the decision which Her Majesty's Government have reached?
§ LORD SHEPHERD
My Lords, I must say that I, and I think the Government, are rather overwhelmed by the generous response on the first day after the Whitsun Recess. I will see that the comments of the two noble Lords are conveyed to my right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.