The Finance Bill 2016 was passed yesterday evening, a bill that ultimately has unfairness at its core.
Monday and Tuesday saw 2 days of intense debate ranging from corporation tax to tax avoidance. (check out Parliament TV if you want to see the full debates)
Whilst we reached a consensus with the Government on a few issues they largely refused to accept our position on the majority of issues and as such the bill still largely contained provisions that did nothing to address the key issues holding our economy back.
Quite frankly the bill had unfairness at its core. One example was slashing corporation tax, in what seems to be a race to the bottom for Britain to become the next big tax haven. The problem is, the Government can provide little evidence to suggest that simply cutting corporation tax actually encourages businesses to invest.
This Government should be investing is skills, infrastructure, innovation and industry to provide business and the wider economy with the support it really deserves, as well as tackling regional and individual wealth inequality so that no community is left behind.
Another example was cuts to Capital Gains Tax which will only benefit a small percentage of wealthy people. Immoral really, at a time when our public services are being stripped of funding and the most vulnerable in our communities are really suffering. It also added very little to the Government's already sparse anti-tax avoidance strategy.
Here's a snippet from my tax avoidance speech:
"We must stop this game that the tax dodgers and their well-paid advisers play with HMRC.
We have to stop this ‘warped and dysfunctional’ dance between them, in which sweetheart deals are done with companies like Vodafone, Google and Goldman Sachs.
We must invest in HMRC.
We must simplify our tax codes.
And we must build our tax laws on the ‘simple’ principle:
That being a part of our society:………..means paying your fair share towards the upkeep of that society."
Well done and thank you to all who assisted with the passage of this bill in Parliament (all 190 clauses of it!) and exposing how little this Government actually cares about creating an economy that works for everyone in Britain.