Finance (No. 3) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:26 pm on 12th November 2018.

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Photo of Kirsty Blackman Kirsty Blackman Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Economy), SNP Deputy Leader 6:26 pm, 12th November 2018

I am not taking any more interventions.

The OBR has made economic growth forecasts on the basis of a smooth and orderly Brexit. It has not made economic growth forecasts on the basis of us crashing out in a no-deal scenario, so its forecasts are only worth anything if the Government can strike a deal, as the Chancellor knows, which is why he has spoken about another fiscal event coming.

Frictionless trade is not frictionless just because the Government call it frictionless. If a good has to be stopped at the border, if somebody has to fill in an additional form or if there is any delay, that is not frictionless trade. Just because the Government say, “This is frictionless trade,” it does not mean that it is actually frictionless trade.

The Government need to improve their processes around the Finance Bill. This year has been the worst in terms of those processes, and they have to improve. The Government could do that by ensuring that we take evidence at the Public Bill Committee.

The Government have to actually do the things they say they are doing. If they say they are going to give Scotland the Barnett consequentials for health, they should give it the Barnett consequentials for health. If they say they are ending austerity, they should end austerity. If they say they are putting in place a living wage, they should put in place a living wage.

Lastly, if the Government are talking about tax cuts, they need to look at the situation in Scotland. The figures I have from the Library say that around half of taxpayers in England pay more than they would if they lived in Scotland, and that half of taxpayers are the people who earn the least, not the most. The UK Government should look at what the Scottish Government are doing and learn some lessons.