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Finance (No. 3) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:16 pm on 12th November 2018.

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Photo of Vincent Cable Vincent Cable Leader of the Liberal Democrats 7:16 pm, 12th November 2018

That was at the heart of the Dilnot proposals that Lib Dem Ministers sponsored and supported in government. If that is the idea, we do not have any problem.

On the income tax changes, and particularly the lifting of the higher-rate threshold at a cost of about £1.3 billion, I certainly do not regard people on £50,000 a year as rich—they have a lower income than we do, among other things—and, in an ideal world in which there was plenty of tax revenue and the economy was booming, lifting the threshold would be perfectly reasonable, but given other priorities it is a bad choice. As it happens, that £1.3 billion is equal to the shortfall between the amount of money the previous Chancellor took from universal credit two years ago and the amount that was reinstated this year. Filling that shortfall would be a much better use of the funding.