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Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:51 pm on 24th March 2011.

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Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Conservative, Wimbledon 3:51 pm, 24th March 2011

I am sorry; I have no more time.

Many colleagues on both sides of the House, including the Chairman of the Select Committee, the hon. Member for West Bromwich West, have made the point that the macro is always based on the micro. The devil is always in the detail. This is the first Budget for many years in which the detail has matched the rhetoric, and in which the detail on the micro side supports the detail on the macro side. Measures include the corporation tax rate, and the 21 new enterprise zones. Far from being a failed policy of the 1980s, this was a great success. Only earlier last year, when I travelled to Merseyside and Manchester to talk to business people there in my role as a shadow Transport Minister, I found that people were asking for this and were keen for it to come through.

The measures to support small and medium-sized enterprises include research and development tax credits and the change in the enterprise investment scheme, which, alongside what is happening with the banks, will bring new capital into the country. These are micro-economic reforms that will come through to build macro-economic success through growth. The simplification of the tax code, the abolition of regulation, the acknowledgement that the 50% tax rate must be only temporary—these are all key levers of growth. They are a sign that in this Budget, the rhetoric is matched by the detail and the commitment.

Finally, growth must come in order to be fair to families, and again with this Budget, the rhetoric matches the detail. The increases in personal allowances, taking the lowest income earners out of paying tax altogether, ensuring that the 40% tax band is not extended, the freeze in council tax—those measures will all impact on real people, and it is real people and the private sector, not just the Government, who build the growth of the economy. The Budget is to be commended; it is the first for some time in which the detail has matched the rhetoric.