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Jacob Rees-Mogg's doubts about Robin Hood

Matthew Barrett


There was an exchange between Jacob Rees-Mogg and Steve Baker during a Finance (No. 3) Bill session last Tuesday that I thought I should bring to readers' attention:

Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset) (Con): The increase in the tax threshold is extremely welcome, as is the reduction in corporation tax. Being competitive on corporation tax is something that the Irish were so clever about, and may we wish them well in their fight against the European Union's attempts to make them increase it. By reducing corporation tax we attract businesses that could otherwise go anywhere in the world. We know that businesses can move and that WPP is thinking of moving back to the United Kingdom because of the right trend in taxation. In that regard, I encourage Her Majesty's Government to avoid any of this nonsense about a Robin Hood tax. Robin Hood was not as good as he was made out to be-particularly for the sheriff of Nottingham-but even if such a tax were as heroic as the late Robin Hood, it would still be a very bad tax for this country.

Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): I was just wondering whether my hon. Friend would agree that Robin Hood actually took from the state to give back to the people.

Jacob Rees-Mogg: I am not entirely sure that that is what he did. I think he also stole from the Church, which is why I have my doubts about him; I am not really in favour of people pinching things from holy mother Church.


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