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(Except clauses 7, 8, 9, 11, 14, 16, 20 and 92) - Clause 56

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 16th June 2009.

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Photo of Jeremy Browne Jeremy Browne Shadow Minister (Treasury) 11:15 am, 16th June 2009

That is my understanding. I have been shocked by the loose attitude that some Conservative MEPs have adopted towards value for money for the taxes that I pay in good faith hoping to see improvements in public services. That point is directly relevant to clause 56, Mr. Atkinson, and I am more than willing to take interventions on it. If you are not keen to expand to that conversation, I will move on to my concluding remarks.

One can only observe that the Conservatives are keen to talk in broad-brush principles and are keen on symbolism, but are less keen on value for money when it comes to Conservative MEPs. Everybody who sees the formation and the practical workings of the European Union and its Parliament in pragmatic and non-paranoid—that may be an accurate way to describe it—terms can see merit in an administrative system of this type. It is important that politicians who serve constituencies in the United Kingdom pay levels of taxation commensurate with those of other UK residents. On that basis, I, like the Conservative party, am an enthusiast for clause 56.