The HSE have previously been keen to stress that charges imposed under the FFI were not intended to penalise businesses, but rather to recoup the administration costs of investigating and remedying material breaches of the law. On the basis of this description, the HMRC have now confirmed that any such charges are not a penalty and can be offset against corporation tax.

Recent figures published by the HSE indicate that the income generated under FFI was only a fraction of the sum estimated at the time of the scheme’s inception (£9.6m was generated in the 2013 – 14 financial year as opposed to the estimate of £37m). However, it is thought that the sums generated will increase after the work that pre dated the introduction of FFI, which is not chargeable under the scheme, is cleared.

Following the criticisms of the scheme by Mr Temple in the Triennial Review, the subsequent review commissioned by the Government is awaited to establish whether any changes to the system will be made.