Finance (No. 2) Bill

On Wednesday 8 May 2024, the House of Commons considered the Finance (No.2) Bill in a Committee of the Whole House. The Bill implements a number of tax changes, including those announced at the Spring Budget on 6 March. Key measures in the Bill include a trigger to end the windfall tax early under certain market conditions where profits decrease, changes to child benefit eligibility, tax reliefs for the creative sector and changes to property taxation. I did not oppose the Bill at its Second Reading in April.  I consider it shows that the Government still has no plan for growth to get the UK out of recession, is still raising taxes on working people, and will oversee the biggest hit to living standards on record.

I supported several efforts to address concerns I have with the Bill and the Government’s record on tax. I am concerned, for example, that the tax burden on working people and pensioners is rising as a result of freezes in the income tax personal allowance and the higher rate threshold from 2021-22 to 2027-28. These freezes will create 3.7 million extra taxpayers by 2028-29, as well as meaning that 2.7 million more people will be paying the higher rate. I therefore supported a new clause that would have required a review of how many people will be liable to pay income tax at 20% and 40%, comparing figures for the current tax year with those for the three preceding and three subsequent tax years. I also supported a new clause requiring a review of how many pensioners will be liable to pay income tax this year and in each of the next three years, and what the average pensioner’s tax bill will be in each of those years. Unfortunately, these clauses were both defeated. In addition, we need to provide stability and certainty on corporation tax, by capping the headline rate at 25% of the whole of the next Parliament. I also consider we need to strengthen the windfall tax on oil and gas companies raise more revenue to support the UK’s energy transition, while offering as much certainty as possible to the affected companies by ensuring it ends by the end of the next Parliament. I supported new clauses addressing these issues, but unfortunately they were also defeated.

Consideration of the Bill will continue in Committee.

New Clause NC1  I voted in favour and the results was: Ayes: 211 Noes: 276 
New Clause NC4  I voted in favour and the results was: Ayes: 212 Noes: 274 
New Clause NC2  I voted in favour and the results was: Ayes: 195 Noes: 266
New Clause NC3  I voted in favour and the results was: Ayes: 198 Noes: 269

The Committee had gone through the Bill (Clauses 1 to 4, Clauses 12 and 13 and Clause 19) and made no amendments.

Bill (Clauses 1 to 4, Clauses 12 and 13, and Clause 19) to lie upon the Table.