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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 2:30 pm on 23rd April 2013.

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Photo of Sheila Gilmore Sheila Gilmore Labour, Edinburgh East 2:30 pm, 23rd April 2013

We could get into a debate about how we provide housing and whether rising house prices have been a boon. For many people on the housing ladder the price they sell and buy at is artificial. As part of a wider housing package, we might want to stabilise house prices rather than see another housing bubble. The point I was making was that people are able to pay over the asking price at higher sums than houses were reaching over the past few years. That suggests they have the income and assets to do so.

Unlike the family of the taxi driver I spoke about, those people do not have to pull in their horns because their income is falling. People whose income is falling not only cannot buy a house; soon some of them will not be able to rent one. Government Members hate us  talking about the bedroom tax, but they should consider someone on £71.70 a week and nearly 60, when the job market is not easy for people of that age, as we have known for many years. My constituent wants a job and has done loads of training courses to get back into work—retraining, keyboard skills, and all the things that people are now supposed to do to get a job—but has not got one yet. She will have to pay £12 of her £71.70 a week towards her rent, which she did not previously have to pay. That is certainly a drop in her income, regardless of whether hon. Members deny it is a tax.