Basic rate limit and personal allowance

Part of Finance (No. 3) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:15 pm on 19th November 2018.

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Photo of Peter Dowd Peter Dowd Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 5:15 pm, 19th November 2018

I do not accept the premise of these trumped-up ideas from voodoo economics presented by the Tory party. The reality is that the report was absolutely damning. It was absolutely devastating, and Government Members should be ashamed that somebody from the United Nations should come to this country and objectively lay out the facts as they are.

Sadly, in true Trumpian style, the Government chose to ignore the UN special rapporteur. Live on “Channel 4 News”, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury buried his head in the sand, saying

“there is a…strong push to reduce poverty”.

Well, it is not getting pushed hard enough. The Financial Secretary refused to acknowledge that there are 1.5 million people living in destitution, despite repeated questioning. A cursory look at this Government’s policies demonstrates that, for eight years, they have felt it was reasonable to punish the poorest to let the bankers off the hook. How can this Government be so out of touch?

I now turn to new clause 3. According to HMRC’s own statistics, over £400 billion a year is spent in tax reliefs. Entrepreneurs’ relief costs £2.7 billion a year alone, and benefits only 52,000 people.