Redwood presses Government on tax and knives

Yesterday in Business Questions, John Redwood urged the Leader of the House for a debate on tax poverty to address the current squeeze on lower-income households, and the Government overspending which underlies it.

The exchange, taken from Hansard, follows.

Mr. John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): May we have an early debate on tax poverty, now that the Government are driving so many people into despair over the ever-rising taxes, charges and impositions? That would give us an opportunity to expose the wasteful and needless expenditure on things such as unelected regional government, over-manned quangos, ID cards and computer schemes, and to offer some relief to people if only the Government would manage things better.

Ms Harman: Taxation and poverty are important issues, but I find it a bit much that that request should come from someone who voted for VAT on gas and electricity to be 17.5 per cent. I might consider that request if it came from someone else, but not from the right hon. Gentleman.

Later, in the debate on knife crime, Mr Redwood encouraged the House to consider the behavioural trend of some youths, rather than simply focussing on their choice of weapon.

The exchange, taken from Hansard, follows.

Mr. John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): On a related point, is not the problem primarily one of feral youths in gangs going armed? If they are prevented from going armed with knives, they might go armed with something else. We need to concentrate on how concerned adults somewhere in their communities—parents, relations, teachers, youth workers or whoever—gives them a purpose for living, other than going out on the streets and causing trouble.

Mr. Coaker: Again, that is a perfectly reasonable point to make. Indeed, the young people whom I met this morning made the point that good role models are needed, that people need to be responsible for young people and that their roles and those of schools, voluntary organisations and faith organisations are crucial. However, as well as all that, we are trying to put across the message that there must be a deterrent in the law, so that people also know that the expectation is that they will be prosecuted if they carry knives. That, as well as the other measures that the right hon. Gentleman refers to, is an important part of our work in trying to attack the problem

1 Comment

  1. Stuart Mark Turner
    June 9, 2008

    Harriet Harman’s response is indicative of a government that no longer has the best interests of the electorate at heart and would rather play politics by scoring petty points off the opposition.

    Surely even she can see that a 17.5% VAT rate on gas and electricity would be far better than taxing the poorest in society into benefit dependence by abolishing the 10p rate on the most meagre of incomes.

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