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It is a great pleasure to speak in this debate not only to support the Bill, but to associate myself with the comments of my right hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, who unfortunately is no longer in his place. In his opening remarks, he mentioned some words by the late Baroness Thatcher, and on reflecting on that, it is clear to me that some things never change. From what we have heard this evening, it is clear that the Labour party would still have the poor poorer as long as the rich were less rich. As I say, it is a great pleasure to speak in the debate. I will keep my remarks brief, as many other colleagues—from across the House, I am sure—will want a chance to speak about the great things this Government have included in the Bill.
Just two short weeks ago, we heard a Budget from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Bill delivers on a number of promises made in that Budget. Key among these is that this Conservative Government are cutting taxes for hard-working people and lifting the lowest paid in our society out of income tax altogether. Our increase in the personal allowance will mean that, in 2019-20, basic rate taxpayers will pay about £130 less tax than in 2018-9 and £1,205 less tax than in 2010-11, when the coalition Government came to power.
Unfortunately, as I pointed out in the Budget debate just two weeks ago, my constituents will be unable to benefit from the raising of the higher threshold, as the SNP Government in Edinburgh would rather punish the strivers and the grafters—the policemen, teachers, entrepreneurs and wealth creators—than reward them, as we do. Instead, the tax gap between Scotland and the rest of the UK is growing wider and wider, with the Scottish Government squeezing out every penny.