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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 agree with almost everything that my hon. Friend said, up to the point where he said that it is not about how much money people get. The Government have proposed to give people more money. The previous  Labour Government—and, I have to say, the Conservative Government before that—taxed people who were on very low incomes, and they operated a complicated benefits system where they took money with one hand and gave it back with the other. By raising the threshold, we are giving that money to people so that at least they are now above basic poverty level, which I believe is around £9,000 or £9,500. It seems counterintuitive to tax people who are below poverty level, and what we are doing now is to give them that cash and tell them that they have a choice over how to spend those limited resources—I admit that £10,000 or £11,000 is not much.