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Finance (No. 3) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:30 pm on 12th November 2018.

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Photo of Colin Clark Colin Clark Conservative, Gordon 7:30 pm, 12th November 2018

I do not know and I really cannot understand it. Now that the Scottish Government are getting tax independence, one would think that they would want to grow the entire economy, instead of damaging parts of it. This should be a salient lesson that tax divergence is damaging; making your country uncompetitive will hurt services. It will cost higher rate taxpayers in Scotland £2,000 to £3,000 more per £100,000 of income. That means that a consultant in Newcastle may not choose to come to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, which supports my constituency, and that would be very damaging for the public services.

The Finance Bill stimulates the economy; lower taxes will grow the economy. Kirsty Blackman is no longer in her seat, but she mentioned a transferable tax history, which is estimated to stimulate the oil and gas industry by £30 billion of investment. I consider that an enormous figure, not a small change. Fiscal stability will benefit the oil and gas industry, and we are grateful to the Chancellor that that is still the target of this Government. Slashing business rates, as the Chancellor has promised, will benefit businesses. However, of course, slashing business rates is not going to happen in Scotland, because that is a devolved matter; the north-east of Scotland got half of the increase in tax, which is damaging businesses in my constituency and other north-east constituencies. Buildings in the north-east of Scotland are being demolished because empty building rates—