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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 6:15 pm on 12th July 2010.

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Photo of Chris Leslie Chris Leslie Labour, Nottingham East 6:15 pm, 12th July 2010

My amendment is quite simple. It does not seek to alter the rate of corporation tax suggested in the Budget, except in one respect: it should not apply to banks and banking institutions. Surely few issues can highlight the unfairness and injustice of the Government's Budget more effectively than the suggestion that, of all the sets of institutions that should benefit from more advantageous tax arrangements, the banks should be given such a windfall at such a time.

I was prompted to table the amendment by a flurry of reports that appeared immediately after the Budget statement, suggesting that the banks would be net beneficiaries. Deutsche Bank analysts were reported as saying that the Budget was a "good outcome for banks", and John-Paul Crutchley, an analyst at UBS, expected that Lloyds and HSBC would benefit by 2012 as a result of, particularly, the cut in corporation tax.

We must look at this measure in the context of the other Budget provisions. While the Finance Bill is, I suppose, substantial to a degree, it addresses only one short set of Budget measures that presumably will be brought before the House in different Bills at different times in the coming year, and it is a shame in a way that we will not get a chance to address this corporation tax measure in that wider context. I do not think any Members are opposed in principle to the banking levy that the Chancellor announced, although many might question whether it is tough and stringent enough.

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