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Capital Gains Tax (Rates)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:39 pm on 23rd June 2010.

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Photo of John Thurso John Thurso Liberal Democrat, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross 2:39 pm, 23rd June 2010

As a matter of fact, given my experience on the Treasury Committee, I was extremely careful about what I said. I stated my preferences, but I also stated the principles underlying them; I shall come on to that in a moment. First, however, let me answer my second rhetorical question, which requires a little more consideration. The first thing that I would look at-this pertains to what the hon. Lady was asking-would be whether the deficit needs to be dealt with now in depth. I shall draw guidance from my experience as a member of the Treasury Committee and from my own experience of rescuing nearly bankrupt companies in the past.

In past three years or so on the Select Committee, I observed how often Members in all parts of the House were behind the curve in estimating the scale of the problem. When we looked at Northern Rock in our report "The run on the Rock", it took time to perceive not only the scale of what happened at that institution but the fact that it was a precursor or early symptom of what was to come later in 2008. I remember the Governor telling us quite late in 2008 how this was a financial crisis that he hoped would not get into the real economy. Looking back, one has to say that that was a false hope.

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