UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

A windfall for Fat Cats - Labour must oppose Corporation Tax Cuts in Finance Bill 2015/16

In the immediate aftermath of the Parliamentary Labour Party’s failure to oppose the Welfare Bill, its MPs with the sole exception of Dennis Skinner abstained on an amendment to decline a second reading to the Finance Bill 2015/16. As well as insuring income tax rates will not rise in the next 5 years, the Bill proposes a raise in the inheritance tax threshold to £1 million and further cuts in Corporation Tax (reduced in 2 stages to 18% by 2020). All of these measures will deplete public finances and intensify the squeeze on public services. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-07-21&number=52&showall=yes#voters

The cut to Corporation Tax on company profits is a particularly obscene proposal at a time when £12 billion is being removed from social security support to low income families, including millions of public sector workers. The UK already has the lowest Corporation Tax in the G20 and the proposed reduction is expected to cost £2.5 billion a year by 2020 on top of £5 billion a year lost by earlier Con Dem cuts.

In the debate on the second reading it was stated by SNP MP George Kerevan that the surplus balances held by British companies 'total something in excess of £0.5 trillion, and some estimates put it at more than £1 trillion. A reasonable estimate is £0.5 trillion or £550 billion’ – where is the morality in the Tory Government cutting profits tax on corporations sitting on these enormous cash mountains thereby rewarding their investment strike? And where are Labour’s morals in failing to oppose this unjustified corporate windfall?