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Lynne Jones: I am trying to decide how to vote should my right hon. Friend press this matter to a Division. The only practical way of dealing with this situation is by a general increase in the threshold above which people pay tax—that would, however, also help other people—because targeting those losers specifically would be enormously complex, and I am not in favour of such complexity. In such an approach, the money could then be clawed back at the higher level. Is that what he is proposing? We need to have a practical measure to deal with this problem that will not cost billions.

Mr. Field: I am grateful for that intervention, because it allows me to point out that the Minister keeps saying that the Government are open to suggestions, but we have been making suggestions ever since they got us into this mess by abolishing the 10p rate. The most obvious way to bring justice without having to eat humble pie and reintroduce the 10p rate would be to raise tax allowances by the amount that made sure that there were no losers earning less than £18,000 and claw back that increase from the rest of us by adjusting national insurance. Such a measure would be targeted and effective, and it could be done this year. The trouble is that when such suggestions are made, they are not ones that the Government favour and so they reject them. That is fair enough, but they cannot then keep saying that they are open to suggestions.

Mr. George Howarth: I suspect that my right hon. Friend is correct about the proposal that my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Lynne Jones) just made. Why then did he not table it as his new clause?

Mr. Field: As I have been explaining, I cannot do that. The House of Commons has this absurd procedure whereby either we let things through or we table proposals such as this just to hold the Government back for a moment, so that they have to think again. We are then accused of trying to press the nuclear button. The constructive thing that we cannot do in Budget debates is propose how the Government might get out of the big hole that they have dug and fallen into. As we now have a reforming Speaker, I hope that that is one of the areas in which we will bring about change, but that is for the future. Today’s debate is about whether we demand additional measures to help those who earn the smallest wage packets in our country; it is about whether we rectify the attack that the abolition of the 10p rate
7 July 2009 : Column 894
made on their standard of living. The Minister has mustered all his skill from the Front Bench. He has given us reassurance, but he has not given us any actual proposals. As a result, I shall press new clause 1 to a Division.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time.

The House divided: Ayes 268, Noes 311.
Division No. 184]
[7.3 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Alexander, Danny
Amess, Mr. David
Ancram, rh Mr. Michael
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Baker, Norman
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, Mr. John
Beith, rh Sir Alan
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Beresford, Sir Paul
Binley, Mr. Brian
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Bottomley, Peter
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brokenshire, James
Brooke, Annette
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Bruce, rh Malcolm
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Alistair
Burt, Lorely
Butterfill, Sir John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Cameron, rh Mr. David
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Caton, Mr. Martin
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clappison, Mr. James
Clark, Greg
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clegg, rh Mr. Nick
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Conway, Derek
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Curry, rh Mr. David
Davey, Mr. Edward
Davies, Mr. Dai
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Davis, rh David
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dorrell, rh Mr. Stephen
Dorries, Nadine
Drew, Mr. David
Duddridge, James
Duncan, Alan
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Evennett, Mr. David
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Farron, Tim
Featherstone, Lynne
Field, Mr. Mark
Fisher, Mark
Flynn, Paul
Foster, Mr. Don
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mr. Mark
Fraser, Christopher
Gale, Mr. Roger
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
George, Andrew
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Gidley, Sandra
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian
Greening, Justine
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Gummer, rh Mr. John
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Harris, Dr. Evan
Havard, Mr. Dai
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Heath, Mr. David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hemming, John
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hoey, Kate
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Holmes, Paul
Hopkins, Kelvin
Horam, Mr. John

Horwood, Martin
Hosie, Stewart
Howard, rh Mr. Michael
Howarth, David
Howarth, Mr. Gerald
Howell, John
Hughes, Simon
Huhne, Chris
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Hunter, Mark
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Jones, Mr. David
Jones, Lynne
Kawczynski, Daniel
Keetch, Mr. Paul
Kennedy, rh Mr. Charles
Key, Robert
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Kramer, Susan
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
Laws, Mr. David
Leech, Mr. John
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Lidington, Mr. David
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Mackinlay, Andrew
Maclean, rh David
MacNeil, Mr. Angus
Main, Anne
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
Maples, Mr. John
Mason, John
Maude, rh Mr. Francis
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McDonnell, John
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Moore, Mr. Michael
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mulholland, Greg
Mundell, David
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Neill, Robert
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Mr. George
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, Mr. James
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Price, Adam
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Rennie, Willie
Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Angus
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Rogerson, Dan
Rosindell, Andrew
Rowen, Paul
Ruffley, Mr. David
Russell, Bob
Salmond, rh Mr. Alex
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Short, rh Clare
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Alan
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Smith, Sir Robert
Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs. Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Mr. Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swinson, Jo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Teather, Sarah
Thurso, John
Timpson, Mr. Edward
Tredinnick, David
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Viggers, Sir Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Walter, Mr. Robert
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Weir, Mr. Mike
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, Mr. David
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mark
Williams, Mr. Roger
Williams, Stephen
Willott, Jenny
Wilshire, Mr. David
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Winterton, Ann

Wishart, Pete
Wood, Mike
Wright, Jeremy
Yeo, Mr. Tim
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard
Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Frank Field and
Mr. Roger Godsiff

Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Austin, John
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Balls, rh Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Blunkett, rh Mr. David
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Bradshaw, rh Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, rh Mr. Gordon
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Des
Bryant, Chris
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, rh Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Byrne, rh Mr. Liam
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, rh Yvette
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
Darling, rh Mr. Alistair
David, Mr. Wayne
Davies, Mr. Quentin
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Donaldson, rh Mr. Jeffrey M.
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Durkan, Mark
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, rh Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, rh Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Mr. Tom
Healey, rh John
Henderson, Mr. Doug
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hermon, Lady
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith

Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, rh Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Ingram, rh Mr. Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kelly, rh Ruth
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khan, rh Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Knight, rh Jim
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, rh Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Lucas, Ian
MacShane, rh Mr. Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
Mahmood, Mr. Khalid
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCafferty, Chris
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McCrea, Dr. William
McFadden, rh Mr. Pat
McFall, rh John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGuire, rh Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, rh Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Meale, Mr. Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miliband, rh Edward
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Morden, Jessica
Morgan, Julie
Morley, rh Mr. Elliot
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, rh Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, rh Mr. Mike
O'Hara, Mr. Edward
Olner, Mr. Bill
Osborne, Sandra
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, rh James
Rammell, Bill
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, rh John
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Robinson, Mrs. Iris
Robinson, rh Mr. Peter
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Roy, Mr. Frank
Roy, Lindsay
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Christine
Ryan, rh Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad
Seabeck, Alison
Sharma, Mr. Virendra
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Singh, Mr. Marsha
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andy
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, rh Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, rh Jacqui
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John

Spink, Bob
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thornberry, Emily
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Turner, Mr. Neil
Twigg, Derek
Ussher, Kitty
Vaz, rh Keith
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Watson, Mr. Tom
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, rh Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Wills, rh Mr. Michael
Wilson, Phil
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Woodward, rh Mr. Shaun
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek
Tellers for the Noes:

Steve McCabe and
Mr. Dave Watts
Question accordingly negatived.
7 July 2009 : Column 895

7 July 2009 : Column 896

7 July 2009 : Column 897

7 July 2009 : Column 898

New Clause 3

Office of Tax Simplification

‘(1) The Treasury shall establish an Office of Tax Simplification.

(2) Its mandate shall be to—

(a) review tax law

(b) make proposals on tax law reform and simplification.

(3) Regulations shall specify the governance arrangements of the Office of Tax Simplification.

(4) Regulations made under this section may not be made unless they have been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, the House of Commons.’.— (Mr. Gauke.)

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. David Gauke (South-West Hertfordshire) (Con): I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Michael Lord): With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: new clause 4 — Holiday accommodation report

‘(1) The Chancellor of the Exchequer shall, before the publication of the 2009 Pre-Budget Report, have compiled and laid before the House of Commons a report containing an assessment of the impact of—

(a) section 503 of ICTA, and

(b) Chapter 6 of Part 3 of ITTOIA 2005,

on the liability to tax of commercially let furnished holiday accommodation.

(2) Any such report shall address the impact on the UK tourism industry.

(3) A Minister of the Crown must, not later than one month after the report has been laid before the House of Commons, make a motion in that House in relation to the report.’.

New clause 6— Competitiveness of the tax system

‘Prior to the first reading of a Finance Bill, the Treasury will lay before Parliament a report on the impact on the competitiveness of UK economy of—

(a) the measures set out in that Finance Bill,

(b) the rates of—

(i) corporation tax,

7 July 2009 : Column 899

(ii) income tax,

(iii) national insurance,

(iv) capital gains tax,

(v) excise duties, and

(vi) vehicle excise duties,

(c) the complexity of the tax system, and

(d) the relationship between the HMRC and the taxpayer.’.

Amendment 36, in clause 8, page 3, line 31, at end insert—

‘(2A) At the end of subsection 13(3) of ICTA 1988 (small companies’ relief), insert—

“(3A) Where in any accounting period the profits of a company do not exceed 1/12 of the lower relevant maximum amount, the company may claim a further reduction (to be known as the “very small companies’ relief”) on the amount of corporation tax payable under this section.

(3B) The Chancellor of the Exchequer shall, by regulations and within three months of Royal Assent, prescribe the level of the very small companies’ relief.

(3C) Regulations made under subsection (3B) may not be made unless a draft of the statutory instrument containing the regulations has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of parliament.”’.

Mr. Gauke: We now turn to another crucial subject, although I do not know whether it will hold Members in the Chamber for long. New clause 3 and the others in the group deal with tax competitiveness— [ Interruption. ]

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. We have important business to continue with. Will Members please leave the Chamber quickly and quietly?

Mr. Gauke: New clauses 3 and 6 specifically address and seek to improve the competitiveness and attractiveness of the UK taxation system. I hope that there is consensus in the House that it is important that the UK has a competitive taxation system. I hope that that is not in any way controversial, although it is perhaps worth reminding the House of the words of the right hon. Member for North Tyneside (Mr. Byers) on 27 April:

He made that point in the context of a debate on the Budget and, in particular, the proposal about the 50p higher rate income tax. He said that

I am arguing for a competitive taxation system in the United Kingdom, and some would criticise that approach by attempting to suggest that it is somehow unfair or inherently against the arguments for social justice. Again, it is worth quoting the remarks of the right hon. Member for North Tyneside, who stated that

It is in that context that we have tabled new clause 3 and new clause 6. It is important that the UK has a competitive tax system but the concerns about it are becoming stronger.

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