Orders of the Day — Finance Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:49 pm on 30th April 2002.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 3:49 pm, 30th April 2002

No. In due course I might, but I want to make some progress. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will be successful in catching the eye of Mr. Speaker or of one of his Deputies later.

I come to the effect of the Bill on income tax payers. Under clauses 27 and 28, the freeze in personal allowances for those under 65, combined with the freeze in the national insurance primary threshold, will raise £700 million in 2003–04 and an anticipated £850 million the year after. Millions of taxpayers will be poorer as a result. The Inland Revenue is now projecting an increase in the number of people paying the top rate—40 per cent.—of tax, from 2,080,000 in the last year of the Administration of John Major to 3,070,000 in 2003–04, when the higher national insurance contributions, which the Government said they would not introduce, kick into the groins of those who have to pay for them.

I would like to say something about the treatment of tax credits, about which the Government, if they have any conscience at all, should be ashamed.