Finance Bill

Part of Developing Country Debt (Restriction of Recovery) – in the House of Commons at 12:45 pm on 6th May 2009.

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Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper The Chief Secretary to the Treasury 12:45 pm, 6th May 2009

The hon. Gentleman conceded that we have taken action to try to support the North sea oil industry, including promoting the opening of new fields. Obviously, in the light of the credit crunch, every sector makes representations to us about the additional support they require, and we have to judge how best to support the economy as a whole. That is what we have done, by providing the kind of tax breaks that support industry as a whole.

The measures I have set out will help to bring borrowing back down, once the economy is growing, but curiously most of them seem to be opposed by the Conservatives. Last week, their leader said he wanted to bring borrowing down faster, yet on Tuesday of last week they voted against billions of pounds of future tax revenue that will do exactly that. They have also said they would reverse the new top rate and the national insurance changes, they are opposed to the pension changes and they would introduce tax cuts for millionaires' estates. All in all, their tax gap in future years is about £10 billion—the vast majority of it tax cuts for the very richest in the country.

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