Orders of the Day — Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 10th March 1999.

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Photo of Stephen Byers Stephen Byers Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry 5:30 pm, 10th March 1999

No, I will not. The hon. Gentleman has had his chance. We have provided £325 million, which can be written off against investment in plant and machinery in the coming year. That is the reality, and it is a shame that he is not aware of it.

Other steps that will be introduced as a result of the Budget will make a real difference. For example, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor confirmed the reduction in the basic rate of corporation tax, ensuring that it will be reduced to 30 per cent. from April this year—down from 33 per cent. when we took office. That is the lowest rate of any major country in Europe and the lowest rate of any major industrialised country, including Japan and the United States.