Levelling-up Agenda — [Mrs Maria Miller in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:44 pm on 15th June 2021.

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Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 3:44 pm, 15th June 2021

I will end in 26 seconds to allow my hon. Friend plenty of time to speak.

I want to engage quickly with the points made by Opposition Members. It is not paternalistic of the UK Government to wish to take a view and to support people up and down the country. It is not paternalistic of the UK Government to offer enormous support for the devolved Administrations on an agreed basis, as we have done in a time of crisis. It is non paternalistic for this country’s collective resilience to have seen Scotland through three periods of crisis in the last 15 years: the financial crisis of 2008, the fall of the oil price and most lately in covid, which might have had disastrous effects but for our collective resilience.

In answer to James Murray quickly, it is not appropriate for me to accuse another Member of Parliament of hypocrisy, but I remind him that this Government are raising corporation tax from 19% to 25%. On 24 February, he himself said, in relation to the Budget and the question of corporation tax, that

“we don’t want to see tax rises—this is not the time to do that”.

I do not think he is in any position to lecture the Government about corporation tax.