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Clause 1 — Main rate of corporation tax for financial year 2011

Part of Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:00 pm on 12th July 2010.

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Photo of John Martin McDonnell John Martin McDonnell Labour, Hayes and Harlington 5:00 pm, 12th July 2010

I understand the point that the hon. Gentleman is making. My amendment tackles tax evasion, which is clearly an illegal activity, but we need to address a wider issue that goes beyond the normal tax planning: tax avoidance beyond the spirit of the law. In previous debates, we have tried to insert into the tax laws of this country a general duty of tax compliance, which exists in other countries. Such an approach puts an onus-as a duty in law-on the individual to comply and to try to emphasise that duty, rather than to look for every possible means to avoid tax. There is a gradation in these matters, but I tackle both these things because they are both legitimate concerns in wider society and will become increasingly pressing ones as individuals experience the public expenditure cuts that will take place as we seek to tackle the deficit.

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