The Economy

Part of Council Tax Rebate – in the House of Commons at 4:59 pm on 31st March 2009.

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Photo of Vincent Cable Vincent Cable Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer 4:59 pm, 31st March 2009

At this stage, we are arguing about how we progress from that to a reformed system. In a world of securitised products, it is quite difficult to separate the two types of transaction, but that is what needs to happen. Instead, however, we are hearing a lot of excuses, based on technical problems, for failure to implement what people who have fairly sophisticated knowledge of the area, including many in the banking system, accept is a reform that simply has to happen.

To summarise, I welcome the debate. The Liberal Democrats agree with some of the points the Government made, but there are several points on which we disagree. We think that the approach to banks' not accepting the responsibilities that go with nationalisation is fundamentally wrong, and we disagree with the make-up of the fiscal package. We believe—we will deal with this when we discuss the Budget in a few weeks' time—that, within a public financial system that we all recognise is highly constrained, there is a great deal of scope for rebalancing the tax system in the interest of greater fairness.

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