Finance Bill

Part of Bill Presented — Constitutional Convention (No. 2) Bill – in the House of Commons at 1:20 pm on 21st July 2015.

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Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 1:20 pm, 21st July 2015

I understand the good point that the hon. Gentleman is making. There will be a need for discussions with the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure that we reach a sensible conclusion to reflect the various requirements across all the United Kingdom. I hope he appreciates that we understand the point he is making.

Through backing businesses and supporting infra- structure investment, this Bill will take important steps to boost our productivity, creating growth and prosperity for all.

Before I conclude this speech I would like to comment briefly on the Government’s tax policy making process. At the start of the last Parliament, the coalition set out its ambition to improve the tax policy making process, through high levels of consultation and legislative scrutiny. That approach was welcomed by tax professionals, and I am delighted to inform the House there have been real achievements. More than 150 formal and informal consultations on tax changes took place over the past five years, and our commitment to publish the majority of Finance Bill clauses in draft was met. I can confirm that this new approach will continue into this Parliament. Indeed, since the recent Budget, we have already published more than 10 consultations on tax policy proposals for future Finance Bills. I should also add that we are establishing the Office of Tax Simplification on a permanent footing as from today, and I am delighted that we are able to do that.

The Finance Bill before us today, at the start of the new Parliament, sets out the priorities and direction of this Government. Our direction is simple: towards stability and prosperity. The Bill rewards work and supports aspiration through lower taxes for working people; helps fix the public finances by tackling avoidance, evasion and imbalances in the tax system; and takes important steps in improving the UK’s productivity. I am delighted to commend it to the House.