Corporation tax charge for financial year 2019

Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 9:45 am ar 9 Ionawr 2018.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

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

Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General

Clause 2 charges corporation tax for the financial year beginning on 1 April 2019. Corporation tax is an annual tax approved by Parliament each year, and this is an essential provision that enables us to collect taxation. I suspect that most Members agree that we ought to charge corporation taxes, so I will not revisit the rationale for the collection of this tax, but I will take the opportunity to set out the Government’s corporation tax strategy.

The Government want a fair and competitive tax system, and we want taxes to be paid. Changes to the corporation tax regime since 2010 have enabled us to make progress towards those goals. Corporation tax has been cut from 28% in 2010 to 19% today, delivering the lowest main rate in the G20 and by far the lowest in the G7. The rate is legislated to fall further to 17% in 2020. Low corporation tax rates enable businesses to increase investment, employ new staff, increase wages or reduce prices. The rate cuts make Britain a more competitive place to set up and grow a businesses, and they support the investment that is vital for improving our productivity.

The Government understand that a growing economy means more tax revenues to support our vital public services, and our strategy is working. Since 2010, despite the rate cuts, onshore corporation tax receipts have increased by 50%, rising from £36.2 billion in 2010-11 to £55.1 billion in 2016-17. There are 3 million more people in employment than there were in 2010, and business investment has grown by 25%. However, the Government have always been clear that although taxes should be low, they must be paid where they are due. Those revenues have been supported by the significant measures taken by the Government to clamp down on tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning. The UK has been at the forefront of multilateral action through the G20 and OECD to reform the international tax standards, including through the agreement and implementation of the base erosion and profit shifting project, or BEPS, as it is known.

Building on that, the Government announced a package of measures at the autumn Budget to tackle avoidance, evasion and non-compliance. They included closing loopholes exploited by large businesses—by, for example, tackling avoidance schemes involving transactions of intellectual property—as well as ensuring that large digital multinationals pay their fair share from profits made in connection with UK sales.

The Government are delivering on their objectives for a tax system that is fair and competitive, and in which taxes are paid. I therefore commend the clause to the Committee.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 2 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 3