Finance (No. 2) Bill

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 1:36 pm on 1st April 2014.

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Photo of Danny Alexander Danny Alexander The Chief Secretary to the Treasury 1:36 pm, 1st April 2014

I have given way to the hon. Gentleman previously, so I am going to make some progress.

This Finance Bill also tackles avoidance by wealthy individuals by preventing high-earning, non-domiciled individuals from using dual employment contracts artificially to reduce their UK tax liability. We are tackling the avoidance of employment taxes by taking action to prevent offshore and onshore employment intermediaries from avoiding their obligations. We are tackling the avoidance of taxes on residential property through the use of corporate envelopes by creating new bands for the annual tax on enveloped dwellings and extending the related stamp duty land tax and capital gains tax charges. In addition, the Bill also creates a new requirement that users of avoidance schemes which have been defeated in another party’s litigation, or which fall within the scope of the disclosure of tax avoidance scheme rules or the general anti-abuse rule, which this Government have introduced, should pay the disputed tax up front. That will bring forward almost £5 billion of revenue over the next five years and will ensure that those who knowingly enter avoidance schemes cannot hold on to the disputed tax but have to pay up front, like all other taxpayers. Those actions will radically reduce both the incentives and the opportunity for individuals and businesses to engage in abusive behaviour.

Let me now deal with the ways in which this Finance Bill will help people in work. This Government have an incredibly proud record of reducing tax for the lowest paid. Not only are we delivering our coalition commitment to raise the income tax personal allowance to £10,000 this week, but we are going further. This Finance Bill legislates to set the personal allowance at £10,500 in 2015-16. I never tire of telling the House that that policy has travelled from the front page of the Liberal Democrat election manifesto to the pockets of tens of millions of people, in all parts of the UK.