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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

That is why I was hoping my amendment would achieve consensus in this House, although that might be a first for me. I was hoping that it went with the flow of Government policy, as well as with past Government policy, if not with past practice under successive Governments. A number of practices of tax avoidance clearly incur public opprobrium. The hon. Gentleman has cited a number that are listed in the Red Book, but there are others. These are seen as instances where people are not doing the right thing within the spirit of the law, which is why, no matter how difficult it can be at times, we can identify practices that fall within either tax evasion or tax avoidance by the practical response from the community.

This is an issue whose time has come, particularly because of the current financial climate. There is clearly a concern among Members in all parts of the House about tax evasion and tax avoidance, and there will increasingly be concern about it in the wider community. Therefore, my simply asking for the Treasury to produce a report before this latest round of taxes are implemented-this would give an element of timetabling and immediacy to the proposals that will be introduced by the Treasury-is nothing but helpful and will be seen in the wider community as actually getting the Treasury to examine this issue with some seriousness in a way that may not have been happening under previous Administrations of all political parties. I cannot see how anybody could vote or argue against this, but I shall sit down and wait for the argument to come.

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