Orders of the Day — Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:41 pm on 7th July 1997.

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Photo of Andrew Tyrie Andrew Tyrie Conservative, Chichester 4:41 pm, 7th July 1997

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I wish to draw attention to what I think is a breach of a long-standing principle of the way in which the House handles tax changes and their announcement. As far as I can tell, in the press release on venture capital trusts and enterprise investment schemes, the normal procedures have not been followed. The tests of whether those changes can be made do not seem to have been specified, so people will have to wait nine months, until the next Budget, to find out whether they can even make an investment.

That amounts to a tax change by press release. It is well-established practice that tax changes that are effective from the day of the Budget are referred to in the Chancellor's speech so that the House and taxpayers are immediately made aware of them. That has not been done in this case. Is that not a breach of a long-standing principle of the House?