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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 do not know-there is no detail. We have had vague promises from Ministers about what the regions will get, but no detail. I cannot explain to business men and entrepreneurs in my constituency where the money is coming from to support and incubate their businesses. As far as I am concerned, this is all hot air. [ Interruption. ] Wait and see? Businesses in my constituency cannot do that. They need to know whether there is to be investment and support. If the coalition Government are serious about supporting the economy in the regions, they should have had their proposals and policies ready for yesterday's debate and been able to explain what money is available to people in the north.

The welfare reforms and the tax changes announced yesterday will cause great problems in my constituency. Although basic rate taxpayers are promised an extra £170 a year in income tax allowance, that will be far outweighed by the VAT increase to 20% from 4 January next year. We have heard at length about the Lib Dem election campaign poster saying that there would be a Tory VAT bombshell, but the Deputy Prime Minister-bless him!-has done another U-turn that takes his party to a new level of opportunism. That regressive tax on growth will cost the average household £425 a year. That is without counting the other regressive changes in things such as housing benefit, child benefit and child trust funds and the disgraceful scrapping of the health in pregnancy grant.

As my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle told the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister-the self-righteous brothers-they are leading this Government and repeating the PR mantra, "We're all in it together," but some parts of our country will be altogether more in it than others. A party that has never been known for sharing wealth and opportunity fairly is very keen to share austerity with everyone.

This past month shows that we have replaced a one-nation Government with a coalition of the two oldest parties, representing the misconceived interests of the privileged classes in this country. My constituents in Hull North, Bransholme, Orchard Park and similar areas, who need public support and public investment to give them the opportunities that, through no fault of their own, they lack, will suffer because of this Budget and this coalition Government.

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