Corporation tax treatment of the oil and gas industry

Part of Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:00 pm on 5th September 2016.

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Photo of Rob Marris Rob Marris Labour, Wolverhampton South West 8:00 pm, 5th September 2016

I agree that it is designed to help some companies in their early stages, but with the effluxion of time, those companies should pass through the pipeline and we should see the fruit of their endeavours, helped indirectly by taxpayer support. The evidence should be coming through now. We could not have looked after one year to see whether it had been effective, but now that it has been around for a few years, we can.

I move on to amendment 177. I was amazed to hear the right hon. Gentleman say that he would be prepared to examine the question of having a turnover tax instead of corporation tax. Greg Mulholland said the same thing. I absolutely agree, and I have long advocated looking at that, precisely because of tax avoidance. If it turns out to be the case that Apple has been avoiding tax in the United Kingdom, it would not have been able to do that so successfully if we had had a turnover tax rather than a corporation tax.

I have to say to the hon. Member for Leeds North West that I am a bit bemused. He said tonight that the leader of his party had set up a review of corporation tax, but the leader of his party has also tabled amendment 177 —supported, as far as I can tell, by the hon. Gentleman—which would abolish corporation tax completely for the financial year 2017, without bringing in a turnover tax instead. It seems a very strange amendment to table.