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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 5:30 pm on 12th July 2010.

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Photo of Clive Efford Clive Efford Labour, Eltham 5:30 pm, 12th July 2010

My hon. Friend's intervention needs no comment from me, other than to say that it is an excellent example of the sort of practices that we need to bear down on. We pay a plethora of accountants and financial advisers to advise on how to invest our money wisely, and that is a legitimate area of activity. It is right that people may order their finances within the rules to maximise their income, but if that becomes exploitation or unfair in terms of what people are contributing, we have to act. That is where the amendments that we have tabled on capital gains tax, which we will discuss later, come in.

Stewart Hosie mentioned the cut in tax staff, and if we are going to see substantial cuts in staff, it will make it even more difficult for HMRC staff to perform their task on whatever tax they are pursuing, be it corporation tax or any other.

The right hon. Member for Wokingham seemed to dismiss the issue of tax evasion, suggesting that we could pursue evaders until the cows came home, but they would never pay the tax so we would not be able to close the deficit by pursuing them. He then went on to talk about the difference between evasion and avoidance, rather than focusing on what we can do-as the people who scrutinise legislation-to ensure that the Government are delivering on their words in the Budget.

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