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Clause 2 - Personal allowance for 2013-14 for those born after 5 April 1948

Part of Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:15 pm on 23rd April 2013.

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Photo of Sheila Gilmore Sheila Gilmore Labour, Edinburgh East 2:15 pm, 23rd April 2013

I suspect that it is not correct to say that such income is relatively modest. During the 1970s, one issue in the political and financial debate that led, I believe, to the outcome of the 1979 general election was the fact that many people—those on the basic rate of tax as well as those on higher rates—felt that tax rates were higher than they would like. At the time, I criticised the Government for that, because it is very easy to take a penny off millions of people and get quite a lot.

Putting up the tax threshold is an expensive business, and if the Government want to do so, they must take on board the overall costs and balance them against what people are getting. In my experience, tax issues are not the biggest barrier to work for many people. Many other problems affect people considerably, including the cost of rent in the private rented sector and the cost of child care, especially since child care tax credits have been cut. They pose equal barriers to work, and perhaps the Government should tackle all of them.