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Capital Gains Tax (Rates)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:16 pm on 23rd June 2010.

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Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Shadow Minister (Health) 2:16 pm, 23rd June 2010

I am sure that that is absolutely right. I must give credit to our civil service. Civil servants advise Ministers and respect the decisions that they make, but the civil service would have been clear if it thought that the assistance should not go ahead because public money would not be protected as fully as it should be.

I was surprised by the vague way in which the Business Secretary talked about the opportunities that his Department will make available in the regions. He cited just two examples: an incentive on national insurance contributions for small businesses and a proposed fund to be distributed in the regions. There were no details of the fund, however, and it is unsatisfactory that businesses and enterprises in Yorkshire and the Humber have to wait to find out what money might be available to them. That is not good government.

I am sorry that the Business Secretary is not in his place, but perhaps I will get some answers to my questions. First, in view of the cuts to Yorkshire Forward, the regional development agency, and the demise of Hull Forward, and given that the Liberal Democrat-controlled council in Hull does not have a great record on regeneration and moving quickly and effectively, how will we be able to promote investment in my city, which still needs public investment to go in, year on year?

Secondly, what will happen to opportunities for those not in education, employment or training with the end of the future jobs fund and cuts to university places? I have the great pleasure of the university of Hull being slap-bang in the middle of my constituency. I am worried about local youngsters in particular not being able to access their local university.

How will the region's construction sector fare, with council house building schemes being cancelled, road schemes threatened and questions still to be answered about flood defence and protection work? Despite the promised good news on port ratings, will the Humber actually get the investment that the Labour Government had identified for the Hull port area and the use of the site for wind turbine manufacturing? That is under review by the coalition, which is worrying, because it might well put off businesses coming to Hull. With the Typhoon fighter project's future uncertain, what will happen to the skilled jobs at BAE Systems at Brough?

I see other hon. Members from the Yorkshire and the Humber region in the Chamber. What about the reduction or elimination of the Humber bridge tolls, which we were so close to achieving under the previous Government? Those are all questions that will affect the economic viability of Yorkshire and the Humber, and I want some answers.

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