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Written Question
Islamic State: Freezing of Assets
18 Oct 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many assets of people belonging to the Daesh terror organisation have been frozen in the UK; what is being done with those assets; and what assessment he has made of the potential to repurpose the Daesh's frozen assets for reparations for victims of the Daesh atrocities.

Answered by John Glen

There is currently around £85,000 worth of funds frozen in the UK belonging to individuals and organisations associated with ISIL and Al-Qaida. The majority of these individuals and organisations are sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council and appear on its ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List. As this List concerns individuals and organisations with both ISIL and Al-Qaida affiliation, the UK has not attempted to make this delineation when reporting the value of frozen funds under this sanctions regime in the UK.

An asset freeze does not involve any change in ownership of funds or economic resources, or require funds or economic resources to be seized by the Government or Police. Accordingly, HM Treasury does not hold or own the assets of any sanctioned persons.

Instead, an asset freeze operates by preventing sanctioned persons from accessing either their own funds or receiving funds from others. HM Treasury alerts financial and other relevant institutions when individuals or organisations are sanctioned by the UN or the UK, and those institutions must then freeze the assets they hold. Anybody who contravenes these sanctions risks committing a criminal offence. The result is that the assets of sanctioned individuals and organisations are ‘frozen’.

The United Nations counter-terrorism sanctions regime was created by UN Security Council Resolution 1267 (1999) and first imposed sanctions on the Taliban. It has been amended and extended on numerous occasions, most notably to include Al-Qaida in 2000 (Resolution 1333(2000)), and ISIL (Da’esh) in 2015 (Resolution 2253(2015)), and is now governed by Resolution 2368 (2017). The aim of Resolution 2368 (2017) is to apply financial sanctions in order to prevent terrorists from raising, moving and using funds, and therefore to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist acts. The UK is required to comply with its obligations pursuant to UN Security Council Resolutions as a matter of international law and therefore to implement all UN sanctions.

Once the conditions for delisting or unfreezing assets set out in UN Security Council Resolution 2368 of 2017 are met, relevant assets would no longer be frozen in the UK.

Financial sanctions legislation does not enable the Government to seize frozen ISIL assets, refuse the release of frozen assets or use ISIL assets frozen in the UK to provide reparations for victims of the Daesh atrocities.


Written Question
Shipping: Assets
16 Jun 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department has had with relevant stakeholders on HMRC’s enforcement of classification of long- and short-term assets for commercial maritime vessels.

Answered by Jesse Norman

Treasury officials are in regular contact with HMRC colleagues.

HMRC do not classify which assets should be written down at the main or special rate of writing down allowances. Instead, businesses should identify whether an asset they have acquired has a useful economic life (UEL) of more or less than 25 years when new. This UEL test for plant and machinery should be applied on the asset as a whole, rather than individual components, since for tax purposes the asset is depreciated as a single unit.


Written Question
Shipping: Capital Allowances
16 Jun 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department has had with HMRC on the classification of long- and short-term vessels under the Capital Allowance scheme for commercial maritime vessels.

Answered by Jesse Norman

Treasury officials are in regular contact with HMRC colleagues.

HMRC do not classify which assets should be written down at the main or special rate of writing down allowances. Instead, businesses should identify whether an asset they have acquired has a useful economic life (UEL) of more or less than 25 years when new. This UEL test for plant and machinery should be applied on the asset as a whole, rather than individual components, since for tax purposes the asset is depreciated as a single unit.


Written Question
Shipping: Assets
16 Jun 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department has had with relevant stakeholders on changing the classification of long-term assets in the maritime sector.

Answered by Jesse Norman

Treasury officials are in regular contact with HMRC colleagues.

HMRC do not classify which assets should be written down at the main or special rate of writing down allowances. Instead, businesses should identify whether an asset they have acquired has a useful economic life (UEL) of more or less than 25 years when new. This UEL test for plant and machinery should be applied on the asset as a whole, rather than individual components, since for tax purposes the asset is depreciated as a single unit.


Written Question
Alcoholic Drinks: Excise Duties
24 May 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to his Department's Alcohol Duty Review citation of concerns that a differential duty rate could increase levels of fraud, what effect those concerns have had on his assessment of the potential merits of introducing a differential duty rate.

Answered by Kemi Badenoch

The Treasury is considering the merits of differentiating products based on the place of retail as part of its alcohol duty review. Officials are working closely with HMRC to assess the practical implications of potential options and the Treasury will provide further updates in due course.


Written Question
Whisky: Excise Duties
24 May 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of a differential duty rate on administration costs for (a) producers and (b) retailers of Scotch whisky.

Answered by Kemi Badenoch

The Treasury is considering the merits of differentiating products based on the place of retail as part of its alcohol duty review. Officials are working closely with HMRC to assess the practical implications of potential options and the Treasury will provide further updates in due course.


Written Question
UK Trade with EU: Scotland
11 Feb 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the Barnett consequentials will be for Scotland from the five annual instalments under Article 145 UK-EU trade deal.

Answered by Steve Barclay

Under Article 145 of the UK-EU trade deal, the EU will make five payments to the UK in relation to the net assets of the European Coal and Steel Community.

As set out in the Statement of Funding Policy, the Barnett formula applies to changes in UK Government spending rather than to changes in UK Government revenue.

Scotland will benefit from future UK Government spending funded by these revenues, either through the Barnett formula or through UK-wide schemes.


Written Question
Business: Government Assistance
4 Sep 2020

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what criteria his Department uses to ensure (a) industries and (b) projects selected for funding from the Government's post-covid stimulus packages are aligned with the (i) UK’s net zero emissions target and (ii) UN’s sustainable development goals.

Answered by Kemi Badenoch

The Coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced in decades. We will assess the impacts of potential interventions against their contribution to our environmental goals, including our climate change and air quality targets. The Government continues to work towards achieving the long-term changes in our economy that are necessary to achieve net zero by 2050. The Treasury is conducting a review into how the transition over the next 30 years will be funded and where the costs will fall. This will include principles to guide decision-making.


Written Question
Treasury: Ministers
9 Apr 2019

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many non-disclosure agreements have been entered into by his Department in respect of a personnel matter relating to a Minister in his Department in each of the last five years.

Answered by Robert Jenrick

HM Treasury has not issued any non-disclosure agreements relating to a personnel matter relating to a Minister in each of the last five years.


Written Question
Boats: Customs Unions
14 Dec 2017

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how he plans to ensure that recreational craft placed on the market after the UK leaves the EU can attain Union Goods status.

Answered by Mel Stride

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 5 December 2017 (UIN 116210, 116206, 116207)


Written Question
Whisky: Excise Duties
31 Oct 2017

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of the increases in excise duty on the levels of sales of Scotch whisky as a result of measures in the March 2017 Budget.

Answered by Andrew Jones

The taxation of spirits reflects its higher alcoholic strength relative to other drinks. While spirits pay more duty per unit of alcohol they pay less per typical serving of alcohol.

The Government published its assessment of the impacts of the Spring Budget alcohol duty changes in the Tax Information and Impact Note, which can be found online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/alcohol-duty-rate-changes/alcohol-duty-rate-changes


Written Question
Whisky: Scotland
31 Oct 2017

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the (a) number of people employed in, (b) volume of sales in and (c) amounts of duty levied from the Scotch whisky industry as a result of the March 2017 Budget.

Answered by Andrew Jones

The taxation of spirits reflects its higher alcoholic strength relative to other drinks. While spirits pay more duty per unit of alcohol they pay less per typical serving of alcohol.

The Government published its assessment of the impacts of the Spring Budget alcohol duty changes in the Tax Information and Impact Note, which can be found online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/alcohol-duty-rate-changes/alcohol-duty-rate-changes


Written Question
Whisky: Excise Duties
31 Oct 2017

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the reasons are for Scotch whisky being taxed at a higher rate than wine; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Andrew Jones

The taxation of spirits reflects its higher alcoholic strength relative to other drinks. While spirits pay more duty per unit of alcohol they pay less per typical serving of alcohol.

The Government published its assessment of the impacts of the Spring Budget alcohol duty changes in the Tax Information and Impact Note, which can be found online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/alcohol-duty-rate-changes/alcohol-duty-rate-changes


Written Question
Concentrix: West Midlands
18 Oct 2016

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many outstanding applications for mandatory reconsideration of a tax credit decision by Concentrix there are in (a) Warley constituency, (b) Sandwell and (c) the West Midlands.

Answered by Jane Ellison

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) does not hold the data broken down specifically by constituency areas. HMRC is currently focused on resolving the outstanding cases but will be preparing regional analysis, which will be available in due course.