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What Tory parliamentarians want to see in the Budget

By Peter Hoskin
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With the Budget less than a couple of weeks away, I thought it would be a good time to collect some of the recommendations being put to George Osborne by Tory parliamentarians. Of course, the parliamentarians listed below may want other measures too – and there may be other parliamentarians who want what they want – but I’ve tried to go with the most prominent examples from the past few weeks. If you think I’ve missed anyone off, please do shout out in the comments section, or email me on pete @ conservativehome.com (without the spaces).

Robert Halfon MP: The reinstatement of the 10p tax rate

RHRobert explained how and why he wants the 10p rate of income tax reinstated in a recent article for ConservativeHome. Here’s a snippet:

“When Labour brought in the 50p income tax-rate, it cost HMRC something like £7 billion pounds overnight, as people changed their behaviour to avoid the new tax. This year, the Coalition will cut that 50p income tax-rate down to 45p, because this is expected to raise more money from the rich, not less. The message of the campaign at CutTaxTo10p.com — or, alternatively GreatGordonBrownRepealBill.com — is that we should use every extra penny raised from this to restore the 10p basic rate of income tax, to help lower earners. Added to the Universal Credit, this will help stop disincentives to employment, and to ensure that work always pays.”

He also discussed the policy on the Daily Politics today.

Robert Halfon MP (again): No fuel duty hikes this year

Speaking on the Dermot Murnaghan show:

“…as you know I’ve been campaigning very hard for the government to free and cut fuel duty and to be fair to them they cut fuel duty in 2011, they froze fuel duty last year and they’ve stopped the January rise and postponed the April rise. We need to carry on with this and I’m urging the government to stop the September rise that is planned but fuel is now 10p cheaper than it would have been had we gone on with the previous plans of the last government.”

Tim Loughton MP: A marriage tax break

TLFrom the Daily Mail:

“Former minister Tim Loughton said the Government needed to start ‘doing some of the thing that people voted Conservative for at the last election. That’s about reducing taxes rather than coming up with new taxes, it’s about recognising families are having a tough time and recognising marriage and families in the tax system which we said we would do and haven’t.”

John Redwood MP: Revenue-maximising tax rates – particularly when it comes to fuel, property and capital gains

He wrote for the Times (£) last week:

“These three examples of higher rates cutting income for the Government are arguments for reform in the Budget. The Chancellor needs to find those sweet spot rates that maximise revenue. For CGT this can be a low rate as it is an easy tax to avoid. For income tax it is likely to be close to the average rate in advanced countries to deter people from moving to lower tax jurisdictions. The Government has found that a 50 per cent income tax rate, more than 10 per cent above the average, has led to a lot of high earners leaving the UK.”

Priti Patel: Cuts to the taxes imposed on business, including Air Passenger Duty

PPShe wrote in the Daily Telegraph on Monday:

“Even if you try and escape it all and take a well-earned break, that is yet another excuse for yet another tax. The British Government takes more than twice as much in taxes on flights as all other European countries combined. A typical family pays more than £115 a year in Air Passenger Duty (APD). If you want to take a family of four to Florida in Economy Class from the UK you will pay £262 in APD. … We are increasingly uncompetitive as a destination for tourists and business visitors.”

Henry Smith MP echoed this demand in an article for ConservativeHome today. Graham Brady MP raised it in an article for the Telegraph last month.

The Free Enterprise Group: What Priti Patel said – and more

FEGFrom the Telegraph’s write-up of the group’s meeting at the Institute of Economic Affairs:

“Mr Kwarteng called for ‘massive spending reductions’, starting with the foreign aid budget, which should be reduced by a third to £5 billion a year. He also proposed a five year ‘holiday’ from corporation tax for new companies. ... Therese Coffey, a senior aide to Michael Fallon, the Business Minister, called for the ‘removal’ of employer National Insurance contributions, which she described as a ‘hidden tax’ with few benefits. ... Brooks Newmark, the Tory MP for Braintree, called for universal pensioners’ benefits to be means-tested. ... He called for inheritance, capital gains, and corporation taxes to be cut and for new incentives to encourage privately backed road building schemes. ... [Ben Gummer] recommended deep cuts to welfare and pensions, which he said soaked up one third of all income tax paid.”

Adam Afriyie: A specific package of tax cuts

AAFrom the Mail on Sunday:

“In an article for The Mail on Sunday today, rebel Mr Afriyie bluntly warns Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne they are doomed unless they use next month’s Budget to kick-start the economy with a multi-billion pound tax giveaway, including: ... Gradually phasing out employers’ National Insurance contributions – a ‘bizarre and nonsensical tax on jobs’ ... Halving the rate of corporation tax on companies’ profits to 12.5 per cent ... Aiming to raise the income tax threshold ‘above and beyond’ the Coalition’s current target of £10,000. ... Making an emergency cut in capital gains tax to boost business investment.”

Andrew Griffiths MP: Freeze beer duty

From the Daily Mail:

“Tory MP Andrew Griffiths told MailOnline: ‘The British brewing industry is in crisis. ... ‘The hated beer tax escalator is killing brewers and closing down pubs. Unless future increases are scrapped now we could see the terminal decline of the great British pint.’”

Lord Forsyth: A change in direction, including an end to Quantitative Easing:

Lord ForsythHe wrote for ConservativeHome this week:

“Quantitative easing is forcing businesses to put enormous sums into their pension funds – money which would otherwise be available for investment and job creation. This is because employer liabilities are calculated using government bond yields which are artificially depressed by QE. Similarly annuity rates are distorted giving pensioners a much lower income than could reasonably be expected after a lifetime of saving. Banks are being heavily criticised for not lending enough but how can they lend more if they are being required by regulators to hold more capital and liquidity in the form of cash or government bonds being created by QE. The Chancellor should announce an immediate halt to quantitative easing and an absolute commitment to sound money.”

Dominic Raab MP: Further, faster, stronger deregulation

DRIn a recent article for the Financial Times (£), he wrote:

“...the coalition is reducing red tape, particularly filtering spurious claims from employment tribunals. But more must be done to exempt small businesses from stifling regulation, including (temporarily) the minimum wage for under-21s, flexible working regulations and pension auto-enrolment. Fears that venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft’s proposals for ‘no fault’ dismissal would undermine job security are understandable but no excuse for ducking the problem. More modest alternatives include extending the period before unfair dismissal can be claimed from two to three years, or introducing a ‘no-fault dismissal’ in parallel with ‘unfair dismissal’ (with a wider definition of ‘fair dismissal’ based on poor performance, not just inherent incapability or neglect).”

Douglas Carswell MP: Coming soon

DCIn a blog-post today, Mr Carswell wrote:

“Over the next two weeks, I will be setting out in five blog posts the alternatives on bank reform, on how and where to curb spending, on tax cuts and how to unleash the potential of wealth creators.  I will outline the post-monetarist approach that I believe we have long lacked.”

The post mentions the evils of Quantitative Easing, and he has also written about the joys of tax cuts recently.


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