New Clause 1 — Value Added Tax: limitation on new orders
Diabetes Prevention (Soft Drinks)
6:30 pm

Photo of Alan Johnson

Alan Johnson (Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle, Labour)

My hon. Friend raises a crucial point. I say the following to those on the Treasury Bench: this was meant to be a Budget for manufacturing; it was meant to be a Budget for growth in the British economy; it was meant to be a Budget that ended some of the anomalies in the north-south divide.

How can we go ahead with this measure, given that hon. Members in all parts of the House know the effect it will have on jobs and British manufacturing, and know that the savings of about £40 million to £45 million set out in the Treasury’s own document will be far exceeded by the costs in unemployment, waste and redundancies throughout the country? How can the Treasury possibly decide, after 40 years of looking at this, that this is the year in which it needs to put the price of caravans up? Again, its own figures show that that will lead to a 30% reduction in demand, although the National Caravan Council says that the real figure will be more like 75% or 80%. I believe Treasury officials now understand that their own analysis was deeply flawed.

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