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Tax Avoidance and Evasion

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:44 pm on 25th February 2020.

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Photo of John Martin McDonnell John Martin McDonnell Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer 12:44 pm, 25th February 2020

They pay that much because they earn so much more than everybody else, but the other issue, and it relates—[Interruption.] Let me finish. We have this debate time and again. The hon. Gentleman is referring to income tax, but when we take into account overall taxation we see that the poorest-paid in our country are paying about 40% of their income while the richest are paying around 34% of their income. It is the poorest who are hit hardest, it is the poorest who have shouldered the burden of austerity, and it is the poorest whose life expectancies are being reduced at the moment. That cannot be right; surely to God no one in this House was elected to ensure that life expectancy for the poorest stagnates and for some goes backwards.