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Budget Resolutions - Income Tax (Charge)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:01 pm on 30th October 2018.

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Photo of John Martin McDonnell John Martin McDonnell Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer 1:01 pm, 30th October 2018

My hon. Friend is right. Yesterday we needed serious action to address the bias against high streets, which has led to so many empty shops. Instead we got legislation that will help turn shops into flats.

We then had a huge media presentation about an online tax being introduced: it was said that £400 million will be found from this online tax in a few years’ time. At the weekend the Tax Justice Network said the top five tech companies have avoided £5 billion-worth of tax.

My second concern about the austerity debate is that if we understand and appreciate what people have been forced to go through with austerity, only callous complacency could drive us to inflict those policies on people. Yesterday the Chancellor’s speech, with references to “Labour’s recession,” demonstrated that he is trapped in a time warp of a political propaganda exercise by the Tories of a decade ago. [Interruption.] I thought they would like that one. Let us be clear: the financial crash was the result of greed and speculation, and a lack of regulation that goes right back to the 1980s. Austerity was always a bad idea.