Income tax charge for tax year 2017-18

Part of Finance (No. 2) Bill – in the House of Commons at 1:30 pm on 25 April 2017.

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Photo of Kirsty Blackman Kirsty Blackman Shadow SNP Spokesperson (House of Lords) 1:30, 25 April 2017

I warmly welcome Trudy Harrison to what is left of this short Parliament. I am particularly pleased that we have finally broken the barrier of the number of women who have been elected— I am really delighted that that has happened. As a child I holidayed in her constituency, and I fondly remember visiting where Beatrix Potter created her animals and visiting the Beatrix Potter museum. I can see the passion with which the hon. Lady speaks about her constituency and the amount she obviously cares about the area in which she was born and bred. She is a truly local MP, so I offer her a huge welcome to the House. Who knows whether she, or any of us, will be coming back in June? But welcome, anyway.

This first group of amendments addresses income tax, but I will also comment on the way that the Bill is progressing through Parliament. With the surprise announcement of a general election, the Bill looks rather different from when it was first introduced. I am sure the Minister is in a similar position, but we received provisional notification of the amount of withdrawals and changes only last night, so there will not be the normal level of scrutiny of some things in the Bill. There will possibly also be slight confusion in today’s proceedings, given that so many things are being withdrawn.

I welcome the Government’s withdrawal of the dividend tax threshold changes, which we argued against on Second Reading. I am pleased that they have chosen to do that because it was a particularly contentious part of the Bill. More generally on the income tax changes, I have said previously and am happy to state again that I appreciate the Government’s increases to the personal allowance and the minimum wage. But I have said previously and say again that the Government have not gone far enough. We have a national living wage, but there has been no calculation of whether people can live on it.