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 Andrew Smith Andrew Smith Labour, Oxford East 1:30, 25 April 2017

I also congratulate Trudy Harrison on a fine maiden speech and thank her for her well-deserved compliment to her predecessor on his service. She spoke with passion, wit and understanding of her beautiful constituency, as well as of Peter Rabbit. None of us envies her speedy transition from by-election to general election, but I do congratulate her.

I made my maiden speech to this House on the remaining stages of the 1987 Finance Bill, so there is a certain symmetry in my making my last remarks on this one. On the substance of the Bill, it is too often overlooked—the hon. Lady talked about balancing public spending—that, although the Conservative party often talks about balancing the budget, the last Government to do so were Labour in 2001-02. Right now, it makes sense to invest more in productive infrastructure, training and public services, with action to combat poverty and to secure Brexit terms that enable our country to grow and flourish. I wish we had a Finance Bill for social justice that stands up for the many, not the few. That is what we need a Labour Government for.

It has been a privilege to be an MP, in and out of government, and I thank the staff of the House, the Library, those who keep us safe and you, Mr Hoyle, and your colleagues. I am grateful to all colleagues and wish them well for the future.

I would like to say a huge thank you to all those who have helped me serve the wonderful constituency of Oxford East for 30 years; my family and friends; my neighbours in Blackbird Leys; our party members and supporters; my trade union, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers; my office staff and party organisers across the years; and, most of all, my constituents. Thank you.