Budget Resolutions - Income Tax (Charge)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:44 pm on 1st November 2018.

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Photo of Robert Courts Robert Courts Conservative, Witney 3:44 pm, 1st November 2018

This is a Budget that delivers: it delivers for the country, for the people of West Oxfordshire and, most importantly, for the communities and families living in West Oxfordshire. I mention those communities and families simply because those people will judge the success or failure of this Budget or any other Budget not on the GDP figures or the facts in the Red Book, but on their actual lived experience and the difference the Budget makes to their lives.

When we look at the background this Government have managed to create and the foundations that this Budget lays, we see that they are very promising. We have employment at the highest level since 1975, with 3.3 million more jobs since 2010 and unemployment falling by a third. There are record numbers of new businesses, which means more jobs and more wages, with all of the hope and the promise that they bring. We also see borrowing at its lowest level for 20 years and the national debt falling. This is all underpinned by the favourable business and taxation policies that this Government have made possible.

When we look forward to the future, we must look at an economy and a Budget that will increase growth. In the future, as we leave the European Union, the decisions we take will be in our hands, and the decisions we take here will govern the success or otherwise of this country in the future. Because we will be responsible for our own decisions, we can have great hope in looking ahead—hope that we will have higher wages, more cash in families’ pockets and more money for the public services we all value so much.

Housing and homes are a major issue, and I will dwell on them very quickly, if I may. The stamp duty cut has already raised the threshold to £300,000, which has helped 121,500 more people to get the homes they want and to get themselves on the housing ladder. I welcome the measures in this Budget that will extend that to shared ownership for properties up to £300,000, which will get even more people on the housing ladder. I would like to go further and have more reforms of stamp duty to ensure that people can downsize if they so wish, and to untie the housing market so that people can move and have the homes they want so much.

I wish that I had longer than three minutes to expound on the good things in this Budget. There is so much good stuff—[Interruption.] I am glad to see that everybody on the Labour Benches agrees. Ultimately, there is a choice: between the jobs and the work that this Government are offering and mortgaging our children’s future with a trillion pounds of debt, as the Labour party is offering. I welcome this Budget.