29 November 2017
Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Lindsay Hoyle)
Before I call the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I remind hon. Members that copies of the Budget Resolutions will be available in the Vote Office at the end of the Chancellor’s speech. I also remind them that it is not the norm to intervene on the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the Leader of the Opposition.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Phillip Hammond)
I report today on an economy that is seeing rapid growth the likes of which we have not seen since the early 20th century: an economy that seeks to work with our European neighbours and community to continue to grow prosperity for all nations who seek friendly and fair trade. What Britain must do in this period of unprecedented growth is look to the future to secure the dreams of our children and grandchildren and fix the roof while the sun is shining.
This Government has worked to reform the welfare state in a way that hasn't been seen since its inception in the late 19th century, and we will continue to find savings while delivering the leg up for the most vulnerable in our society. While the party opposite would keep Britain overspending, borrowing and saddling our children and grandchildren with debts that become insurmountable, we on this side of the House have managed to keep our fiscal promise with the British people. Spending has come down from 45% of GDP to 35.8% of GDP and government revenue is at its highest it has ever been at 35.9% of GDP. Yes, we have achieved a budget surplus for the third year in a row. The Government will use the surplus of £15 billion on Britain's debt so that this budget is a fully balanced and costed budget. The Social Democrats could not have dreamed of making a balanced budget, nor do I think the Leader of the Opposition or the Shadow Chancellor care about prudent management of Government funds.
Britain is the fourth largest economy in the world, and London is at the heart of the global financial trade. While we have transitioned into a service economy, the Government has put forward some more achievements. The Government will continue to contribute to the British Infrastructure Investment Bank at £15 billion for the 2018-2019 year. That investment will allow the High Speed 3 and 4 links from Manchester to Edinburgh via Leeds and Manchester to Dublin via Blackpool to be finished ahead of schedule....in 2018. The construction of this vital link for the North to Manchester and London has employed 2,000 workers directly, allowed small business to hire 3,000 in the areas of construction. That is this Government's economic policy, creating jobs and developing all parts of this United Kingdom. The BIIB has also announced plans to invest in the Tyne and Wear rolling stock, the full electrification of the main lines in the North, Scotland, and Ireland, which will be completed in 2022.
With the T-Levels introduced, we have given brought the secondary education budget up to £56 billion and the tertiary and vocational education budget up to £154 billion. The extra funds provided to the education budget at the secondary and tertiary levels will be used to get all schools across the United Kingdom ready for the T-Levels. I am announcing that part of that tertiary education budget a £10 billion increase to the apprenticeship scheme across the United Kingdom. Not everyone needs a university education, but everyone deserves an education that puts them on track for good, high-wage jobs and this Government will partner with the private sector to develop it. The Oxbridge Tech Corridor has already seen tech startups explode, and I am pleased to announce another tech corridor initiative in partnership with the Irish Government. Dublin's Trinity College is on par in terms of prestige and importance in the United Kingdom with Oxford and Cambridge, and they have pushed for Dublin to receive the same incentives as the Oxbridge Tech Corridor. I am pleased to announce that the Fine Gael Government and the UK Government together will be cooperating on that. But, not to leave Scotland behind, I have heard from my Liberal colleagues in Scotland that they want this too. Therefore, I am announcing that tech companies that partner with the Universities of St. Andrews, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen will receive a tax rebate similar to those starting up in Dublin and Oxbridge. That is how this Government builds jobs across the United Kingdom.
Stamp duty is something that can keep first time home buyers out of the market. I am, therefore, abolishing stamp duty for first-time home buyers on all properties at £300,000 or lower across the United Kingdom, and at £600,000 or lower in London. Fuel duty has been permanently placed in the reduced rate of VAT at 2%, something that the Social Democrats would have increased now to 8% according to their tax plans. We will also make sure that those who charge their electric cars at work will not be charged for their services. Personal tax allowance will be frozen at £11,000, but we have announced a closure of all loopholes on personal income tax and corporation tax, so that the highest rate earners and corporations pay the same rate at 20%, 15% lower than under the Social Democrats. That being said, there will be no deals and no ways to avoid paying tax so that all money made here and earned here is paid to the United Kingdom and HMRC. Income tax bracket of £11,001 to £45,000 above the allowance pay 10%, 45,001 to £100,000 pay 15%, and all income £100,000 above the allowance are at the top rate. Simple, effective tax that people can fill out on an index card to know exactly what they will be paying at all times.
The devolved institutions, in accordance with the Edinburgh Agreement and Smith Commission will receive a total of £150 billion on a per capita basis.
The Government has said time and time again that it is for working people and that we want work to pay, and this is a budget that allows more people to keep more money in their pockets, business to pay their fair share and remain competitive internationally. This is a Government that will ensure that our future as a country and prosperity for future generations. This is a transformational budget. This is what this Government is proud of, and I commend this statement to the house.
Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 51(2)),
That, pursuant to section 5 of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act 1968, provisional statutory effect shall be given to the following motions:—
(a) Stamp duty land tax (higher rates for additional dwellings) (motion no. 35.)
(b) Stamp duty land tax (relief for first-time buyers) (motion no. 36.)
(c) Tobacco products duty: rates (motion no. 40.).—(Mr Philip Hammond.)
Question agreed to.
Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Lindsay Hoyle)
I now call upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer to move the motion entitled “Income tax (charge)”. It is on this motion that the debate will take place today and on succeeding days. The questions on this motion and on the remaining motions will be put at the end of the Budget debate on Tuesday 5 December.
Income tax (charge)
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That income tax is charged for the tax year 2018-19.
And it is declared that it is expedient in the public interest that this Resolution should have statutory effect under the provisions of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act 1968.—(Mr Philip Hammond.)
Sir Keir Starmer (Holborn and St. Pancras)(SDLP)
The hallmark of any budget is the good it will do for the people of the United Kingdom, and this budget has failed to deliver the real relief that families need -[Interruption]
Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Lindsay Hoyle)
Order. If the Government backbenchers cannot control themselves, we will be here for a very long time. Simple as that.
Sir Keir Starmer
What we see is a Government that will put more children in poverty with their disastrous Universal Credit scheme, that has taken nearly £4,000 of child benefit from families every year. Household wealth for those who make lower than the average £51,570 a year will fall by 20% by 2025. At that time, the top 1% of this country will have seen their wealth grow at 9%. No mention of the fact that people who are still on the old state pension system saw the Government cut the available funds by 10% in favour of those with superannuation. We have not heard anything about increased spending for the NHS, which was a campaign promise put forward by the Liberals at the last election. This Government does not care about what they say.
When the Social Democrats were in Government, there were 1.2 million children taken out of poverty during our tenure. Since then, the ONS and IFS have stated that there have been nearly 1 million children placed back into poverty. The school lottery of birthplace is still alive and well, despite the Prime Minister and the Chancellor saying that they want to build a Britain that allows everyone to achieve based on merit. There are still schools that are struggling with high class sizes per teachers. There is a teacher shortage in this country at the primary and secondary levels, the most important levels of education. We need more teachers, yet the Government continues to cap public sector pay.
The Government has weakened trade unions and has stifled wage growth cross the country. Britain's trade unions guaranteed good working conditions and fair wages for work throughout the industrialization of the United Kingdom, yet we have seen an attack on the trade unions and increasing privatisation of the vital public services of our country. When will the Government stop? We did not see any money directed towards energy policy, because the Government is on the side of the coal, oil and gas companies that continue to push fossil fuels and destroy the environment across Europe.
This budget does nothing to prepare Britain for the future; it instead sidles our children and grandchildren with the same rigid society that we have had, where it absolutely matters where you were born and how much money your parents have when it comes to success in life. As this budget gets uncovered, we will see the true priorities of the Government.