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Capital Gains Tax (Rates)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:08 pm on 23rd June 2010.

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Photo of Chris Williamson Chris Williamson Labour, Derby North 6:08 pm, 23rd June 2010

No, I do not have time.

Some of the country's greatest progressive advances were brought about by Labour when the size of the national debt was far higher than it is today.

I heard Members of the coalition parties, including the Chancellor, eulogising the Canadian experience of cutting its deficit in the 1980s and arguing for the same approach to be adopted here, but their "Ministry of Truth" description of themselves as "compassionate Conservatives" imposing so-called caring cuts defies all reason. The reality of the Canadian experience saw increased homelessness, overcrowded classrooms, pension cuts and a drastic shortage of hospital beds. On one occasion, the Canadians even emptied a hospital and blew it up in a desperate attempt to save money. Is that really what the coalition parties mean by "caring cuts"?

By contrast, the US President has written to all G20 leaders begging them not to cut spending too quickly. Mr Obama says it is critical that

"the timing and pace of consolidation in each country suit the needs of the global economy".

He adds:

"We must be flexible in adjusting the pace of consolidation and learn from the consequential mistakes of the past when stimulus was too quickly withdrawn and resulted in renewed economic hardships and recession."

But the Chancellor just does not seem to get it. He is obsessed with implementing an approach that failed in the 1930s, failed in the 1980s, failed in the 1990s and is destined to fail again. He wants to implement an unfair budget that will hit the poorest hardest, undermine the economic recovery, destroy public services and increase unemployment.

David Blanchflower, one of Britain's top economists, said today that he is

"now convinced that as a result of this reckless Budget the UK will suffer a double-dip recession or worse, not least because there is no room for interest-rate cuts, although lots of additional quantitative easing... from the Bank of England could soften the blow".

Growth is the key to addressing the deficit, and the Budget is a wasted opportunity. The Chancellor has chosen to penalise the weak and the powerless, instead of making the rich and powerful individuals and institutions pay.

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David Pendray
Posted on 25 Jun 2010 9:36 pm (Report this annotation)

Obama's letter can be found in full here: