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Capital Gains Tax (Rates)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:36 pm on 23rd June 2010.

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Photo of Alistair Darling Alistair Darling Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer 12:36 pm, 23rd June 2010

The Chancellor says it is 10% higher, but when I raised capital gains tax to 18%, I remember the angry campaign waged against it by Conservative Members. They said that 18% would discourage enterprise and was a terrible thing, but they seem to have changed their minds on that absolutely and completely. By the way, we are not going to oppose the increase in capital gains tax; especially when there is a higher 50p rate of tax, sooner or later action would have to be taken to stop the real risk of leakage. As I think the Chancellor said yesterday, the real gain from raising capital gains tax comes from income tax receipts. The position of the Liberal Democrats, however, was quite different.

There are other areas, too, where questions of fairness will be raised. Where in the manifestos of either of the political parties that form the Government was it said that they were going to index benefits to the lower inflation index of the CPI-the consumer prices index-which takes about £6 billion away from people whose income, generally speaking, is not that great? Where was it said in their manifestos that they were going to cut more than £100 in relation to child benefit, or to freeze that benefit for three years? Other changes also deserve very close examination. Everybody knows that housing benefit is in need of reform, as is the disability living allowance, but as we all know, these are complicated, difficult and sometimes controversial issues. It will be interesting to see whether the coalition Government can deliver all the things they promised yesterday.

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