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Class 4 National Insurance Contributions - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:08 pm on 15th March 2017.

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Photo of The Bishop of Chester The Bishop of Chester Bishop 4:08 pm, 15th March 2017

My Lords, I think I can paraphrase the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Rooker, by saying:

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often”,

as Churchill said. It is a strength that the Government can change their mind so openly and directly, and I wish that politicians would more often simply and openly accept that they have changed their mind in the light of the evidence. So, in that sense, I welcome this announcement. My concern is about the further measures. One of the problems with the triple lock and the guarantee on tax rates and so on is that tax increases tend to be stealth taxes of one form or another. In a healthy democracy, the more open, direct and progressive taxation is, the better. I wonder whether the Minister is willing to make some comment, from his heart, on that suggestion.