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 Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 8:00 pm, 5th September 2016

I will start by responding to the Opposition’s amendments and new clauses, before I turn briefly to those tabled by the Government.

Amendment 162 would require the Government to remove clause 45 from the Bill. That would stop the cut in corporation tax going ahead, because the clause will cut the rate of corporation tax to 17% with effect from 1 April 2020. Lower corporation tax rates enable businesses to increase investment. We cannot agree with Rebecca Long Bailey, who speaks for the Opposition on this matter. Lower rates enable businesses to take on new staff, increase wages or reduce prices. That is borne out by receipts data. The House may be interested to know that onshore corporation tax receipts have risen by more than 20% since 2010, despite the lowering of corporation tax rates. The Treasury and HMRC have modelled the economic impact of the corporation tax cuts delivered since 2010 and those announced at Budget 2016. The modelling suggests that the cuts could increase long-run GDP by more than 1%, or almost £24 billion in today’s prices.

The hon. Lady asked whether business investment has grown. It has increased by 30% since 2010. She mentioned foreign direct investment. In fact, only last week, the Department for International Trade reported a record number of inward investment projects in 2015-16, with over 80,000 new jobs created by more than 2,000 FDI projects. Again, we cannot agree with her criticism.