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MPs to vote on controversial ‘shares for rights’ scheme today

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The controversial ‘Employee Shareholder’ clause of the Government’s Growth and Infrastructure Bill is to be put before the House of Commons today.

Last month the House of Lords voted overwhelmingly to remove the clause, which asks workers to forfeit certain employment terms in exchange for a stake in their company.

As part of the scheme, employees would not pay income tax or national insurance contributions on the first £2,000 of shares received, and would not pay capital gains tax on the first £50,000.

Last month, many Conservative and Liberal Democrat Peers voted against their own parties to ensure the clause was removed from the legislation, but despite this the Government will try and reintroduce the policy when the bill is put before the House of Commons today.

Ifs ProShare, the voice of the employee share ownership industry in the UK, has written to all Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs urging them to vote against their official party line and make sure the policy does not become law.

Phil Hall, special adviser to ifs ProShare, said: "This has been voted against once already, not just by the Labour opposition but by a number of Conservative and Liberal Democrat peers together with the vast majority of crossbenchers in the Lords.

"We very much hope that MPs will act with similar courage and conviction and back the views of the majority of UK businesses – and all of the representative bodies for the share ownership industry – by voting against this ill-conceived and destructive policy."