Finance Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:15 pm on 6th July 2010.

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Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 5:15 pm, 6th July 2010

Let me come to that point in a moment because- [Interruption.] I will answer the right hon. Gentleman's question after touching for a moment on some of the questions that we will raise in this debate and in Committee next week. We will want to press the Government on their clause without a mandate. We will want to know what studies have been conducted, as will many Back-Bench Members in the coalition party, on the impact of the new VAT on Britain's poorest families. We will want to know the impact on pensioners, children and child poverty. We will want to know whether all zero-rated goods will remain zero-rated for the course of the Parliament. We will want to know whether all exempt goods and services will remain exempt for the course of the Parliament. We will want to know how much the Chancellor has short-changed our pensioners by uprating pensions this September and then legislating for higher prices in January. We will want to know his estimate of the growth in black market trading through increasing the rewards for unregistered traders. We will press the Government on those questions during discussion of clause 3.

We will also want to know the answers to questions on other clauses. Why does clause 1 make corporation tax less certain when we were promised clarity? Why is the measure silent on the regime for North sea oil? Why does clause 2 complicate the tax system when we were promised simplicity? In respect of clause 4, what assessment has been made of the impact of insurance costs for low-income families? Will the reform of pension tax relief bring in as much as Labour budgeted for? Will the plan be as fair?

The great tragedy of the Budget and the Bill is that there is an alternative, so let me deal directly with some of the questions raised by Government Members. In March, my right hon. Friend the shadow Chancellor set out the fastest and clearest deficit reduction plan of any country in the G7.

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