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Schedule 23 — Air passenger duty

Part of “Group 12 — Caravans – in the House of Commons at 10:43 pm on 3rd July 2012.

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Photo of Bill Esterson Bill Esterson Labour, Sefton Central 10:43 pm, 3rd July 2012

If it were true that it helps the poorest people in our society, perhaps the hon. Gentleman would have a point, but it does not help many of the very poorest and it does not help those young people I was talking about who cannot find a job because the Government will not take action and because they cut the future jobs fund when they first came into office.

What we really needed from this Government was a Budget of fairness. Instead, we got that tax cut. What they should be doing is repeating Labour’s bankers’ bonus tax, which raised £3.5 billion—[ Interruption. ] Government Members do not have to take my word for it; they can take the word of the independent Office for Budget Responsibility, which they themselves set up. They are even questioning their own organisation’s figures. That £3.5 billion was nearly twice as much as the £1.8 billion raised by the bank levy. The bank levy is a start, but the Government could repeat the bank bonus tax and use the money to get young people back to work and the housing industry going. The temporary VAT cut would help small businesses that cannot get loans from the banks.

I know that people want to get home. [Hon. Members: “Hurrah!”] Always happy to oblige. We have had a Budget for the wealthiest in our society. The Bill gives help to the top 300,000 earners, but does nothing for young people or those out of work.