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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 5:15 pm on 12th July 2010.

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Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Conservative, Wokingham 5:15 pm, 12th July 2010

The hon. Gentleman has made my point beautifully. I have just said that one man's avoidance is another man's tax incentive-that is exactly the point that I am trying to make. There are good types of avoidance and bad types. Sometimes all the parties in the House agree that a certain type of avoidance is bad, and then it is in our own gift, because we are the legislature, to table business on any day to stop that tax avoidance in its tracks by changing legislation explicitly and clearly to send a signal. At other times we come together to legislate in favour of tax avoidance, because there are things that we wish to encourage. As he rightly says, sometimes the best thing to do is to give people a lower tax bill to encourage such procedures. That is surely encouragement of tax avoidance of a benign kind and a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

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