David Rutley debates involving HM Treasury during the 2019 Parliament

Fri 23rd Sep 2022
Tue 16th Jun 2020
Finance Bill (Eighth sitting)
Public Bill Committees

Committee stage: 8th sitting & Committee Debate: 8th sitting: House of Commons

Economic Responsibility and a Plan for Growth

David Rutley Excerpts
Wednesday 19th October 2022

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Rachel Reeves Portrait Rachel Reeves
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I thank the hon. Gentleman for that intervention. Small businesses, such as the restaurant that he mentions in his constituency, are the backbone of all our constituencies and our economy more widely. An energy bill increase from £900 to £3,000 is not affordable for small businesses. The Government need to do more to help.

David Rutley Portrait David Rutley (Macclesfield) (Con)
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I know that the hon. Member takes economic issues very seriously. Protecting pensioners will obviously be a key priority. Does she join me in welcoming the Prime Minister’s confirmation that the triple lock will be protected, and can she set out Labour’s policy on that vital area?

David Rutley Portrait David Rutley (Macclesfield) (Con)
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I am grateful for the chance to speak on Second Reading and to follow considered speeches by right hon. and hon. Members. I am particularly pleased to see the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, my hon. Friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Richard Fuller), in his place. I knew him for many years before coming to this place and he brings real expertise to the Front Bench, notwithstanding the fact that he has very big shoes to fill—that’s for sure.

The repeal of the health and social care levy is part of the Government’s growth plan. The key elements of the plan to address cost of living challenges, caused largely by President Putin’s savage attacks on Ukraine, are most welcome. The energy price guarantee helps to limit the price of fuel bills for households across the country for two years, while the energy bill relief scheme provides similar support for businesses right across the country. Those steps are particularly welcome to the small and medium-sized businesses, both in Macclesfield and across the country, which have felt particularly exposed to the sharp increases in energy costs.

I understand the desire for greater growth and for reducing the tax burden. I recognise that many businesses and working people will be pleased to see the health and social care levy being reversed. They will be able to keep more of what they earn and decide how best to use the saving for their own business or household. I acknowledge that many business owners will welcome another element of the growth plan: the planned rise in corporation tax will not go ahead either. That said, I believe it is important to see the removal of the health and social care levy, and other proposed tax reductions, in the context of the wider economy and our public finances.

Financial markets have shown concerns about the cumulative effects of the policies set out in the growth plan, as was eloquently set out by my hon. Friend the Member for Salisbury (John Glen) earlier, and the lack of an associated OBR forecast to help set out an independent view has been unsettling. The forecast will help provide an independent view of the plan’s impact on our public finances and on the levels of the Government’s borrowing and debt. That is why I was pleased to learn that the Chancellor will bring forward to 31 October his statement on the medium-term fiscal strategy, and that Treasury Ministers and officials will, as is necessary, work closely with the OBR over the weeks ahead. It is vital that the Chancellor sets out his fiscal strategy soon, to help explain how the measures in the growth plan, including the impact of reversing the levy, will be funded and what they will mean for the Government’s spending plans, such as the funding for NHS backlogs and social care that the levy sought to address, as highlighted very well by my hon. Friends the Members for Winchester (Steve Brine) and for South Suffolk (James Cartlidge).

The latest timing also means that documents will be available before the next meeting of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee on 3 November. They will help provide additional, much-needed information for the markets, to colleagues here in Parliament and, of course, to our constituents. As the Prime Minister has said, in hindsight more could have been done to roll the pitch and communicate the growth plan before the Chancellor’s statement on 23 September.

In addition to the steps to lower taxes, such as the reversal of the levy, and to tackle energy cost challenges, the growth plan includes several innovative plans, such as the investment zones to help drive growth. In Cheshire East, our vibrant life science sector and industrial hubs would represent an exciting opportunity for such a zone to drive sustainable economic growth. That is just an idea, of course, for the Chief Secretary.

I wish that we could spend more time talking about such opportunities, but we have to accept that we cannot wish away market concerns. We have to recognise where we are, and the Treasury needs to take the time to communicate and explain its plans in more detail and in the context of the wider economy. With that in mind, I am pleased that the Chancellor earlier agreed with the Chair of the Treasury Committee on the need to further engage with and counsel colleagues in this House over the weeks ahead.

To conclude, this Bill will see the health and social care levy reversed. That policy and the implementation and phasing of other measures in the growth plan aim to help lift growth and will have wider economic consequences, so let us take the time to understand them more fully. Like many colleagues, I am a strong supporter of free enterprise. I recognise that lower taxes have a role to play in driving growth. As is often said, there is a time to every purpose, and at heart I am a fiscal conservative.

The Growth Plan

David Rutley Excerpts
Friday 23rd September 2022

(1 year, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kwasi Kwarteng Portrait Kwasi Kwarteng
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The focus of the growth plan is on growth—on getting our economy moving and getting to 2.5%. That is the lens through which I am looking at this problem. I am also happy to remind the hon. Gentleman that we are protecting the most vulnerable, through the energy intervention and other forms of support.

David Rutley Portrait David Rutley (Macclesfield) (Con)
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Growth sectors such as pharmaceuticals will no doubt welcome my right hon. Friend’s steps on corporation tax. Does he agree that supply-side reforms are also required, with the Department of Health and Social Care and BEIS working with greater urgency to approve and adopt clinically proven medical treatments to more fully realise the potential of the UK life sciences sector?

Kwasi Kwarteng Portrait Kwasi Kwarteng
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I am pleased to confirm to my hon. Friend that that is exactly what we need to be driving forward. We need to be accelerating the process so that we can deliver outcomes more quickly. I pay tribute to the fact that he and I have been talking about these issues for many years now. I am pleased that he remains as focused on growth as he was many years ago.

Cost of Living Increases

David Rutley Excerpts
Monday 24th January 2022

(2 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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David Rutley Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (David Rutley)
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The hon. Member for Glasgow Central (Alison Thewliss) speaks with conviction —I know that from having listened to many of her debates in the past—but it will be no surprise that I will come to a very different conclusion in my arguments today. Let me begin by thanking all hon. Members who have taken part in this important and sometimes lively debate. The pandemic has been a very challenging time for many. We acted quickly to put in place unprecedented levels of support. Since the start of the pandemic, we have spent more than £400 billion protecting people’s jobs and livelihoods, supporting businesses and public services and providing unprecedented welfare support. That is not inactivity, as alleged by the SNP, and it has been conveniently overlooked by hon. Members, including the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Neale Hanvey).

Universal credit has stood up to the challenge of covid-19, providing a vital safety net for 6 million people, thanks to the hardworking staff in DWP across the nation, including in Scotland. Thousands of work coaches worked tirelessly to ensure that the benefits system did its job. Our successful vaccine programme is providing us with the protection to fight the virus in all its forms.

The latest labour market statistics prove that time and again we have made positive decisions during the pandemic. As has been highlighted during the debate, it is important to put the rising cost of living in context. Prices are rising in countries around the world. I know that Members such as the hon. Members for Ceredigion (Ben Lake), for Glasgow East (David Linden) and for Edinburgh East (Tommy Sheppard) have raised concerns, but we need to look at the issue in context. As the global economy recovers from the pandemic, consumer demand is surging at a time when global supply chains are disrupted. We recognise and understand the pressures that is causing for people’s wallets, and their worries as they see the cost of food, energy and other essentials increase.

The Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions—and, indeed, the Chief Secretary sitting next to me—are listening to those concerns. As shown during the pandemic, the Government will do what it takes to support those most in need, and we are looking at the best way to build on the support that is already available. With the economy moving into a higher gear, it is time to focus our attention on getting people into work and progressing in employment. That was ably highlighted by my hon. Friends the Members for Broadland (Jerome Mayhew) and for Moray (Douglas Ross).

Alan Brown Portrait Alan Brown
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The Minister said that the Government will do everything it takes to resolve the cost of living crisis. What will they do to mitigate the energy price cap rise in April?

David Rutley Portrait David Rutley
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We have shown what we can do when faced with challenge. We are monitoring the situation and looking at all the solutions—we will come forward—as, I understand, the Scottish Government are monitoring the situation to see what more they can do.

David Rutley Portrait David Rutley
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I will not give way just yet: I will make further progress.

The latest job figures tell a very positive story. There is now a record number of people in payroll employment in the UK, with 23,000 people added to payrolls in Scotland in December alone. With around 1.25 million vacancies across the UK, up 33,000, or 2.7% in a month, and by 467,000, or 58.9% since the start of the pandemic, there are many further opportunities for people to move into and, importantly, progress in work and increase their earnings.

Current estimates also show that the number of online job adverts in Scotland has risen by 13% since the start of the pandemic. We know the importance of employment, particularly full-time work, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty, especially in households with children. That is why the focus of the Secretary of State and the whole DWP ministerial team is on matching people looking for work with those opportunities, which will also boost key sectors and the economy as a whole. As well as getting people into jobs, we are taking action to boost the take-home pay of low-income working households by giving 2 million families an extra £1,000 a year through our cut to the universal credit taper rates and increasing work allowances. Raising the national living wage by 6.6% to £9.50 from April will mean an extra £1,000 a year for full-time workers.

To help people to take advantage of the record number of vacancies, our plan for jobs is helping people at any age and any stage of their career, as the Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Sussex (Mims Davies), is fully aware. Since the start of the pandemic, we have recruited 13,500 new work coaches to ensure that claimants, no matter where they live across the country, can access support and opportunities to get a job, progress in work and realise their potential. It is good to know that there are 1,200 extra work coaches in Scotland alone. In addition, the flexible support fund is available to remove barriers for anyone looking to access the labour market and is administered by work coaches on a discretionary basis, so it is a great tool to help people overcome their own personal barriers to work. For those who have been unemployed for between three and six months, the job entry targeted support programme provides intensive support to help them bounce back as quickly as possible, and for individuals requiring upskilling to take advantage of a vacancy in a certain sector—Members have discussed particular concerns in specific sectors—sector-based work academy programmes, or SWAPs, provide claimants with those key skills and a guaranteed job interview at the end of the placement.

For young people, who are of course most at risk of long-term unemployment and have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, we have the £2 billion kickstart scheme, which has seen over 122,000 young people start a six-month work placement across many different kinds of jobs and sectors, with 10,000 starts in Scotland alone. There are youth hubs in every jobcentre to support young people—150 youth hubs have been opened, 19 of them in Scotland—and extra support is available for those aged over 50 as well, to help them find the work they need and help them progress with their career aspirations.

We recognise the pressure people are facing with their household finances and are providing extra support for those who need it in this period of cost pressures. We must of course highlight the household support fund, which has provided £500 million of support across the United Kingdom, with £41 million going to Scotland and the Scottish Government.

We have provided extra support as well over the years, recently by increasing the local housing allowance in cash terms, with an extra £600 on average to 1.5 million households. As we look at the rising energy prices, we are working with Ofgem and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to ensure that we have the correct response to the recent pressures and make the appropriate changes where needed to increase our resilience to future price fluctuations. There is the energy price cap, and the winter fuel payments, cold weather payments, and the warm home discount, all of them making a real difference to people facing energy cost challenges across the country, including in Scotland.

So, we have done a lot. We will continue to do more. We are committed to working with the Scottish Government to help them achieve their devolution aspirations. We look forward to hearing more about them so we can help them in this task, and we are absolutely committed to help those—

Owen Thompson Portrait Owen Thompson
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claimed to move the closure (Standing Order No. 36).

Question put forthwith, That the Question be now put.

Question agreed to.

Main question accordingly put.

Covid-19: Future UK-EU Relationship

David Rutley Excerpts
Wednesday 15th July 2020

(3 years, 9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Ian Blackford Portrait Ian Blackford
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Where are they, indeed. Members should not worry, because the SNP will provide an effective Opposition.

I am respectfully asking my friends in the Labour party who are present to stand with us. We went through the Lobby together to establish devolution, and devolution is now under attack from this Tory Government. There is a question to be asked of the Labour party: will they stand with us? [Interruption.] It would be helpful if they would turn up, but I hope when it comes to votes —and there is going to be a fight over the coming months—that we stand shoulder to shoulder against this attack on devolution in Scotland, in Wales and in Northern Ireland.

What is now taking place is nothing more than an undignified attempt to neuter the Scottish Parliament. Let me put the Tories on notice that we will stand up for the sovereign rights of our Parliament enshrined by the referendum result and by the establishment of our Parliament. Let me remind the Tories: our Parliament was established by overwhelming numbers in 1997. It belongs to the people of Scotland.

Ian Blackford Portrait Ian Blackford
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“Not the SNP!” Do I really have to take that? I know the hon. Member represents an English seat and perhaps he does not pay much attention, but if he looks at every one of the results of elections to the Scottish Parliament since 2007 and to Westminster since 2015, as well as the European results, he will see that the people of Scotland have put their trust in the SNP to defend them from the kind of attacks that we have from the Tory Benches. [Interruption.] I hear, “What about a referendum?” so let me say this. We went to the people of Scotland last December and we stood on the principle of Scotland’s right to choose. We got 45% of the vote. There is a bigger gap between us and the Tories than there is between the Tories and Labour in the United Kingdom. We won that election, by any definition. The people of Scotland elected us in 48 of the 59 constituencies. There are six Tories from Scotland. We won that election. I accept that the Conservatives won the election in the UK, but that means that it is incumbent on the Conservatives to recognise that the SNP won in Scotland.

Finance Bill (Eighth sitting)

David Rutley Excerpts
Committee stage & Committee Debate: 8th sitting: House of Commons
Tuesday 16th June 2020

(3 years, 10 months ago)

Public Bill Committees
Read Full debate Finance Act 2020 View all Finance Act 2020 Debates Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts Amendment Paper: Public Bill Committee Amendments as at 16 June 2020 - (16 Jun 2020)
None Portrait The Chair
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Do I take it that that was the last group?

David Rutley Portrait The Lord Commissioner of Her Majesty’s Treasury (David Rutley)
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One more!

Clause 98

Amendments relating to the operation of the GAAR

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

None Portrait The Chair
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With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

New clause 12—General anti-abuse rule: review of effect on tax revenues

‘(1) The Chancellor of the Exchequer must review the effects on tax revenues of section 98 and Schedule 13 and lay a report of that review before the House of Commons within six months of the passing of this Act.

(2) The review under sub-paragraph (1) must consider—

(a) the expected change in corporation and income tax paid attributable to the provisions in this Schedule; and

(b) an estimate of any change, attributable to the provisions in this Schedule, in the difference between the amount of tax required to be paid to the Commissioners and the amount paid.

(3) The review under subparagraph (2)(b) must consider taxes payable by the owners and employees of Scottish Limited Partnerships.

This new clause would require the Chancellor of the Exchequer to review the effect on public finances, and on reducing the tax gap, of Clause 98 and Schedule 13, and in particular on the taxes payable by owners and employees of Scottish Limited Partnerships.

That schedule 13 be the Thirteenth schedule to the Bill.