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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 3:30 pm on 23rd April 2013.

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Photo of Brooks Newmark Brooks Newmark Conservative, Braintree 3:30 pm, 23rd April 2013

I have been inspired to speak to the amendments. I was not expecting to—I had hoped not to—but we should stick to what this clause is about: personal allowances and who benefits from them. For Hansard I thought it would be worth while to take a couple of minutes to review what is going on, with the real benefits of personal allowances to ordinary people, notwithstanding some of the legitimate points made by the Opposition.

The changes to personal allowances mean that 2.7 million people have been taken out of tax altogether. The other statistic worth reflecting on is that 24.5 million have benefited from the increase in the personal allowance. That is a policy that we in the Conservative party advocated for a number of years and, in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, we finally had an opportunity to implement it. That policy was important because we want to support hard-working people.

In cash terms, the personal allowance has increased from £6,475 under the previous Government in 2010-11 to £10,000 in 2014-15, a magic number we all aspired to. Twenty million basic rate taxpayers will benefit by £500 in real terms and £700 in cash terms. Those are important statistics that I would like the Opposition at least to acknowledge and reflect on.

I support clause 2 because it supports people who are working hard and struggling. People on low pay are finding it very tough; we should all acknowledge that. We have to remember that, as a result simply of clause 2, 1.1 million people will be taken out of tax altogether. That has to be good for society, and the Government should be congratulated on that. Touching on amendments 7 and 8—