Budget Resolutions - Income Tax (Charge)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:11 pm on 31st October 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Scott Mann Scott Mann Conservative, North Cornwall 3:11 pm, 31st October 2018

My hon. Friend makes a very good point. Bladders are not seasonal, Madam Deputy Speaker. You cannot tell a two or three year old to hold their bladder while they are on the beach—that is impossible. We pride ourselves on our blue flag beaches. It is important to us that we recognise how good they are. We do not want people discharging themselves in the sea; we would much rather they discharged themselves in public loos. So we are delighted about this measure, Madam Deputy Speaker.

On high streets, I look around my high street and I see that the majority of businesses are small businesses. They are the lifeblood of the North Cornwall economy. Some 90% of those businesses will benefit from the reductions in small business taxation. One business wrote to me today: Lindsay from Linterior Design in Wadebridge told me that she has just expanded her business. The extra money from the rates cut will enable her to refurbish her business, putting some of her hard-earned money back into it. Real people with real businesses on the high street are saying that these are the real issues that affect them. The reform to the business rate shows how the Government have found a way to support enterprise and individuals in a fair way. Coupled with the tax on internet giants who gross £500 billion a year globally, this shows that the Chancellor has the best interests of small and independent stores at the heart of government. I am very pleased about that.

It was not mentioned at the Dispatch Box, but my colleagues and I in Cornwall care passionately about fairness on the second homes issue. We have been campaigning on this issue with Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government Ministers. It appears that some people soft let their second homes, paying neither council tax nor business rates. I was pleased to see in the Red Book that this is being reviewed. I represent an area with a number of second homes and I receive a lot of correspondence about it. It is important that everybody pays their fair share, so I am pleased that the Government are reviewing that particular policy. We have been lobbying on it for quite some time.

I was delighted by the announcement on single-use plastics. I represent a coastal constituency. Several groups, including the Polzeath Marine Conservation Society, Surfers against Sewage and the Bude Cleaner Seas project, have written to me about single-use plastics. The announcement was good, but I think we can go further on some environmental measures. I will mention my Bathing Waters Bill here, because the Government should consider the issue of sewage going into the sea. I understand that this is a matter not for the Treasury, but the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. We find ourselves in a position where water companies are polluting the sea and that is just not right. I hope we can give further consideration to this issue at a later date.

On fisheries, I am delighted that £12 million will be dedicated to the fisheries industry. My hon. Friend Mrs Murray has campaigned tirelessly to get transponders on smaller vessels, so I am delighted that £2 million of the fund will go to that. There will be £10 million for tech and innovation in the fisheries industry. We have not seen tech innovation in the industry for quite some time. It will enable us to fish in a more environmentally sustainable way.

On manifesto commitments, I am delighted that we are bringing forward big, macro policies on lifting thresholds. I represent an area where many people have modest incomes. They will see that money reinvested back into society. I am delighted with the Budget and will be supporting it in the coming days.