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Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:43 pm on 23rd March 2011.

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Photo of Sammy Wilson Sammy Wilson Shadow Spokesperson (Education), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Treasury) 2:43 pm, 23rd March 2011

That is clearly not what the Chancellor intends, because he hopes to raise £1.4 billion. If the hon. Gentleman is saying that this is all about changing behaviour so that firms do not get the money, there is an immediate hole in the figures the Chancellor is presenting to the House today. I suspect that it is not all about that at all, but is another way of raising tax. What appears on the surface to be a good supply-side measure will be more than offset by some of the other measures undertaken. Of course, the kinds of firms that are most likely to be hit by this are the very firms that the Chancellor says he wishes to promote: those in manufacturing industry. The service industry will not be hit by those measures as much as manufacturing will, and, given Northern Ireland’s reliance on gas and oil to fuel and power manufacturing industry, and the fact that our energy costs are already higher than in other parts of the United Kingdom, that will gravely disadvantage manufacturing firms in Northern Ireland, at the very time when the Executive in Northern Ireland is trying to rebalance the economy.