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Division No. 262
[7.24 pm


AYES


Allan, Richard
Baker, Norman
Ballard, Mrs Jackie
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Bell, Martin (Tatton)
Brake, Tom
Breed, Colin
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)
Cable, Dr Vincent
Campbell, Menzies (NE Fife)
Chidgey, David
Cotter, Brian
Ewing, Mrs Margaret
Hancock, Mike
Harris, Dr Evan
Harvey, Nick
Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Mon)
Keetch, Paul
Kennedy, Charles (Ross Skye)
Kirkwood, Archy
Livsey, Richard
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute)
Moore, Michael
Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Stunell, Andrew
Swinney, John
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Tyler, Paul
Wallace, James
Webb, Steve
Willis, Phil

Tellers for the Ayes:


Mr. Edward Davey and
Sir Robert Smith.


NOES


Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Armstrong, Ms Hilary
Ashton, Joe
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Barnes, Harry
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Stuart (Middlesbrough)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony
Bennett, Andrew F
Bermingham, Gerald
Betts, Clive
Blizzard, Bob
Borrow, David
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brinton, Mrs Helen
Brown, Rt Hon Nick (Newcastle E)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Byers, Stephen
Caborn, Richard
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Canavan, Dennis
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Chisholm, Malcolm
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cooper, Yvette
Cousins, Jim
Cox, Tom
Cranston, Ross
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Cummings, John
Cunliffe, Lawrence
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Dalyell, Tam
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dean, Mrs Janet
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drown, Ms Julia
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Etherington, Bill
Field, Rt Hon Frank
Fisher, Mark
Flynn, Paul
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Fyfe, Maria
Galloway, George
Gardiner, Barry
George, Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Mrs Linda
Godman, Dr Norman A
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Golding, Mrs Llin
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Grocott, Bruce
Gunnell, John
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hanson, David
Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Hesford, Stephen
Hinchliffe, David
Home Robertson, John
Hoon, Geoffrey
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Ms Jenny
(Wolverh'ton SW)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
Kingham, Ms Tess
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Lawrence, Ms Jackie
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Liddell, Mrs Helen
Livingstone, Ken
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Lock, David
Love, Andrew
McAllion, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCafferty, Ms Chris
McDonnell, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McKenna, Mrs Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNamara, Kevin
McNulty, Tony
McWalter, Tony
Mallaber, Judy
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Maxton, John
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Milburn, Alan
Mitchell, Austin
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morgan, Rhodri (Cardiff W)
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Mrs Diana
Osborne, Ms Sandra
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Plaskitt, James
Pope, Greg
Powell, Sir Raymond
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Quinn, Lawrie
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd
Raynsford, Nick
Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Reid, Dr John (Hamilton N)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Cov'try NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rogers, Allan
Rooker, Jeff
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Rowlands, Ted
Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Ms Joan
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Short, Rt Hon Clare
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Miss Geraldine
(Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Spellar, John
Squire, Ms Rachel
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stott, Roger
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
(Dewsbury)
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, Rt Hon John D (Strangford)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Touhig, Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Watts, David
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Wise, Audrey
Wood, Mike
Wray, James

Tellers for the Noes:


Ms Bridget Prentice and
Mr. Jon Owen Jones.

Question accordingly negatived.

29 Apr 1998 : Column 389

Clause 119 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 25

Charge and rates for 1998-99


Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Mr. David Heathcoat-Amory (Wells): The clause deals with the rates of income tax that should apply for the current financial year. It is about the only area of taxation not to be increased in the Budget. In this massive tax-raising Finance Bill, the Government are leaving the rates of direct personal tax the same. That is a small mercy, given that other provisions of the Bill increase taxes savagely. It is a matter of record that in last year's Finance Bill the Government carried out a £5 billion-a-year raid on pension funds, which sent exactly the wrong message to potential savers. The Government say that they should put money by to provide for their old age or to increase their self-reliance, but they may tax such funds at a future date. The effective rate of corporation tax has been increased in the Budget, adding to what the CBI says is a £20 billion increase in company taxation during this Parliament. Yesterday, we debated indirect tax increases that have been introduced in the face of a rising tide of illegal sales and smuggled imports. Road fuel tax, which is another indirect tax, is being increased way over the rate of inflation. Motorists face a £9 billion additional tax burden during this Parliament. In that context, it is a small but welcome mercy that the clause leaves the rates of income tax unaltered. However, I must contrast that with the previous Government's record. In 1979, we inherited a basic rate of income tax of 33 per cent. During successive Parliaments, we cut the rate to 23

29 Apr 1998 : Column 390

per cent. We also inherited a higher rate of 83 per cent., which, if we include the surcharge on investment income, meant a staggering top rate of 98 per cent. on income. We cut that to 40 per cent. The Labour party now seems to support those cuts, because it has left those rates unaltered. The Government accept them, despite the fact that, during those Parliaments, when we reduced tax year by year, Labour Members resisted and voted against all the relevant provisions. They have at last accepted that a low-tax economy is a healthy economy, but it took 18 years for the penny to drop. I welcome their change of view, albeit belated.


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