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Capital Gains Tax (Rates)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:14 pm on 23rd June 2010.

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Photo of Vincent Cable Vincent Cable The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 1:14 pm, 23rd June 2010

That was not on the point I was speaking about. I know that the hon. Lady is a new Member, but I am sorry that she felt the need to read out her question in the way that she did. Nevertheless, there is a very simple answer on page 94 of the Red Book. It is a technical point made by Sir Colin Budd, who drew up this part. These issues are not comparable. Had the Labour plans been implemented, interest rates would have been higher than they now are, which would have dragged down the rate of growth and pushed up the level of unemployment beyond what it is. That is the distinction he makes. He also refers to the fact that there is a basic confusion. I noticed that the Chancellor did not repeat the point in his speech, but it was raised yesterday. That explains the hon. Lady's genuine misunderstanding.

In addition to issues about how to stimulate demand, there is an issue about how to get business investment moving-how to get supply, and an understanding of the supply side of the economy. A lot of the Budget's stronger points were about that issue. The Budget was about creating a tax environment within which business is confident to invest. It is about doing the things that my Department is now starting to do in conjunction with the Cabinet Office, such as looking at the 20,000-plus additional regulations that were built in by the last Government and which are shackling small business. It is about addressing the issue of bank credit that was lamentably neglected by our predecessors, and investing in things like apprenticeships, which we have started to do even within our few weeks in office.

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