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It is a pleasure to serve again under your chairmanship, Mr Crausby, and to follow my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh East. During the break, I thought of little else but what she might offer in her contribution and she has not disappointed. I rise to speak in favour of the two amendments tabled by my hon. Friends to review and to assess the impact of two specific proposals in the Budget.
This is the first time I have served on a Finance Bill Committee. The Whip for the Treasury team was surprised by my enthusiasm, as I was keen to serve. However, I am disappointed by the offerings of the Chancellor in his Budget. There is not a great deal to discuss. Last year’s might have been more interesting for Opposition Members to debate. It was like an extravagant banquet that gave quite a few people tummy aches. This time we are getting more of a packed lunch of a Budget. If anyone were to blind-taste this Budget they would not believe it was in response to the difficult times the country faces.
I want to talk about the granny tax—what some Members call the age-related allowance; I hope that keeps Government Members happy. That is how it has been colloquially and affectionately called by many. That again shows how out of touch Government Members are.
Sheila Gilmore rose—
Kwasi Kwarteng rose—