National Insurance Contributions Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 2nd July 2008.

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Photo of Lord McKenzie of Luton Lord McKenzie of Luton Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions) (also in the Department for Communities and Local Government) 3:45 pm, 2nd July 2008

My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for her amendments and congratulate her on the ingenious formulation of an issue which we discussed in Committee. As I will explain, however, we do not believe it does the trick.

I shall start by making a few general comments to pick up on some of the points. The noble Lord, Lord Forsyth, talked about the current UK tax burden, but in every year since 1997 and throughout the forecast period of the previous Budget the tax-to-GDP ratio has been well below the peaks reached in the mid-1980s.

The noble Baroness said that this was represented as being part of a simplification package. Indeed, that is exactly what it is; it was not a tax-raising measure.