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Capital Gains Tax (Rates)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:45 pm on 23rd June 2010.

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Photo of Huw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies Shadow Minister (Marine and Natural Environment) 3:45 pm, 23rd June 2010

I have enjoyed the debate very much so far. It has exposed a fundamental division between our approaches to the question of how to emerge from the recession. Although it has been said that ideologies are dead, I think that it has exposed a fundamental division between our ideologies as well. What those ideologies and those approaches mean to me are the impact on a single mother on a council estate in my constituency or a pensioner who has put a bit away in a house at the top of Maesteg, and it is the same across the country.

I thank Mr Ellwood for reminding me just how vast the gap is between the ways in which we approach and understand the task of resolving the present situation. He began by asking us again to be "all in this together". I hope I shall be able to go some way towards explaining why I cannot join him in that mission.

I knew before the election that if we were unsuccessful and were not returned to government, we could expect this approach. I must say in fairness to the hon. Gentleman and his colleagues-including Mr Cameron, who leads his party-that they were frank and upfront. We were not given the detail, but they said that this was what they would do. However, while I have a great deal of genuine respect for Members on the other side of the House-I am not trying to embarrass them-I did not expect that they would end up on this side of the fence when the moment came, and their action has disappointed me. It has exposed a division that will last in the Liberal Democrat party for a generation, which, from my perspective, is greatly to be regretted. I should have thought that we would still have some allies, as we did before the election, along with all the economists who are still saying that this is the wrong action to take.

I must apologise for confusing David Blanchflower and Danny Blanchflower, especially as there is, I understand, a football match going on somewhere at the moment. I am not a great football fan, although I wish England all the best. Unfortunately, Wales has not been in a major competition for about 54 years.

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