Fairness and Inequality

Part of Opposition Day — [20th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 3:03 pm on 11th February 2014.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Guto Bebb Guto Bebb Conservative, Aberconwy 3:03 pm, 11th February 2014

Obviously, I do not accept most of the hon. Gentleman’s arguments; certainly, we should be careful about taking lessons from the Irish implosion. Ireland is probably one of the few countries to have a banking crisis even greater than ours. Many of the eastern European accession countries have managed to create vibrant economies by imposing low-tax regimes, and the whole of the UK should look carefully at those countries’ performance.

In the debate about whether we have a 50p, a 45p or a 40p tax rate, I remind Labour that it found the 40p tax rate completely acceptable for the vast majority of its 13 years in government. What is the purpose of income tax? That is a question that is often forgotten. Its purpose is not to bring down and punish the successful. If we believe in a more equal society, we want more money coming into the Exchequer, because that means we can do more to support the less well-off in society, but we have lost sight of that argument. If we reduce taxes and get more money coming into the Exchequer, that is something that should be welcomed. Time and again, it has been shown that when taxes are reduced, more often than not, the result is more economic activity and a greater success story.