Treasury Questions

The most publicly-viewed, and least productive, part of the Parliamentarian's day when Ministers of the Crown are brought in front of the opposition and summarily raked over the coals. Of course, nothing is ever really asked and nothing is ever really answered, but it makes for good theatre.
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Alexander 'Alec' Dundas
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Treasury Questions

Post by Alexander 'Alec' Dundas »

Order! Questions to the Chancellor of the Exchequer
Rt Hon. Alexander 'Alec' Dundas QC MP
Secretary of State for the Union (2019-Present)
Member of Parliament for Ochil and South Perthshire (2017-Present)
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Sir Tristan St. John
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Re: Treasury Questions

Post by Sir Tristan St. John »

Madame Speaker,

Does the Chancellor believe that there will come a time when it will be in Britain's interest to join the euro?
Sir Tristan St. John, 5th Bt. MP DPhil(Oxon)
Conservative MP for Henley (2001-present)
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (2001-present)

"I am my country's most important intellectual."
- Thierry Baudet, definitely not his country's most important intellectual

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed by this character are fictitious and do not in any way reflect his player's real opinions. Quite the opposite in fact.
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Sir Jack Anderson
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Re: Treasury Questions

Post by Sir Jack Anderson »

Madam Speaker,

Other than my faith, which I keep away from my politics, and my belief in my country and party and their values, I have very little time for belief and clairvoyance is not something I claim to possess. I deal with the here and now.

In that vein, the Treasury has concluded that the five tests are not met. Therefore, I do not believe at present the euro would be beneficial for Britain and I do not see that changing during the duration of this Parliament.
Sir Jack Anderson
Labour Party.
Member of Parliament for Southampton Test
Chair of the Treasury Select Committee. (2000-2001)
Chancellor of the Exchequer. (2001-)
First Secretary of State. (2001-)
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Sir Nicholas Mountstuart
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Re: Treasury Questions

Post by Sir Nicholas Mountstuart »

Madam Speaker,

In his upcoming budget, will the Chancellor stick to the decision of his old boss the Right Honourable Member for Dunfermline East to scrap the Married Tax Allowance?

If the answer is 'yes', will he explain to the House why Labour thinks it is acceptable to make all of us who are married worse off?
Rt Hon. Sir Nicholas Mountstuart Bt QC MP
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (2001-Present)

Member of Parliament for Penrith and the Border (1997-Present)
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Re: Treasury Questions

Post by Sir Jack Anderson »

Madam Speaker,

I thank the Shadow Chancellor for his question, and would also like to welcome him to his role. I hope he is as entertaining as his predecessor, but failing that I hope to find much value in our future exchanges.

Madam Speaker, I think the Shadow Chancellor knows that the decision made by the former Chancellor in regards to the Married Tax Allowance is not going to change. Labour made no commitment to it in our manifesto, and there has been little to no evidence the removal of the Married Tax Allowance has had negative effects on married couples, families or the wider economy.

In fact, with the revenue generated from its removal the government has managed to do fantastic things for families and married couples: we have lowered income tax rates for those in low and middle incomes and we have managed to strengthen benefits for families and children. All families, including married families, have received a net benefit from such changes and we know we have increased the incomes of all families and put more families, including married couples, out of poverty altogether. So, naturally, I am going to have to disagree with his premise that the government wants to see married couples and families worse off. On the contrary, the government has taken the necessary tough decisions to ensure all families are better off.
Sir Jack Anderson
Labour Party.
Member of Parliament for Southampton Test
Chair of the Treasury Select Committee. (2000-2001)
Chancellor of the Exchequer. (2001-)
First Secretary of State. (2001-)
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Re: Treasury Questions

Post by Rebecca Flair »

Madam Speaker,

Will the Chancellor commit to an annual review, and publication of said review, of the United Kingdom's performance under the five tests for Euro Membership? To date we have had one update from his predecessor, the Rt Hon Member for Dunfermline East so does he agree with me that on this issue it is imperative that he acts in an open and transparent way in relation to these tests?
Rebecca Flair
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Leader of the Liberal Democrats 2001 - Present
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Re: Treasury Questions

Post by Sir Jack Anderson »

Madam Speaker,

I thank the Honourable Lady for her question.

I do not believe a review into whether membership of the single currency meets the criteria outlined in the five tests should be an annual one. The simple reason for this being convergence is seldom an overnight process, and should the criteria not be met it is slim that sufficient convergence would occur in a single year, and I am mindful in how I will use Treasury and Civil Service resources.

With that said, I agree with the Honourable Lady that there has been a sufficient period of time since the tests were last carried out, in October 1997. The government also pledged it would carry out a review of the five tests early into this Parliament, and that is work I will carry out soon. I also take no issue in acting in a way that is transparent or open surrounding this process, and will happily publish any documentation relating to the upcoming review of the five tests.
Sir Jack Anderson
Labour Party.
Member of Parliament for Southampton Test
Chair of the Treasury Select Committee. (2000-2001)
Chancellor of the Exchequer. (2001-)
First Secretary of State. (2001-)
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Re: Treasury Questions

Post by Sir Nicholas Mountstuart »

Madam Speaker,

I thank the Chancellor of the Exchequer for his kind words. I may not prove to be quite be as eccentric as my Honourable Friend for Henley was, but I shall certainly try to make sure that these sessions are as useful as they can possibly be. So it is in that vein, that I hope the Rt Hon. Gentleman opposite will manage to avoid some bad habits that he could have picked up from his old boss, the Rt Hon. Member for Dunfermline East - not least a tendency to be economical with the actualite.

On this occasion, not so Madam Speaker.

The Chancellor has pointed to the children's tax credit as making up for the loss of Married Couple's Allowance, which by its very nature, only applies to those families with children. The scrapping of the Married Couple's Allowance worth on average £1,000 a year, will affect families with one parent working disproportionately, who we know are already burdened with higher taxation under this Government.

Labour promised not to raise taxes in 1997, and it is simply not good enough for the Rt Hon. Gentleman to hide behind the penny reduction in the basic rate. So I say to him, doesn't this speak to the heart of what the Government are really doing: taking pounds, delivering pennies, and telling everyone that they're better off?
Rt Hon. Sir Nicholas Mountstuart Bt QC MP
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (2001-Present)

Member of Parliament for Penrith and the Border (1997-Present)
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Re: Treasury Questions

Post by Sir Nicholas Mountstuart »

Madam Speaker,

I know that the Chancellor will have seen Early Day Motion 3 - Independence of the Monetary Policy Committee in which I call on the Government to enhance the independence of the Bank of England by removing the power of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to arbitrarily appoint the four external members of the Monetary Policy Committee, I am pleased to say that this EDM has received cross-party support.

So does the Rt Hon. Gentleman agree with me that it is time the Government completes a half-finished job? And will he commit to giving the Bank of England real independence, as opposed to treating it as just another client satrapy like his predecessor did?
Rt Hon. Sir Nicholas Mountstuart Bt QC MP
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (2001-Present)

Member of Parliament for Penrith and the Border (1997-Present)
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Re: Treasury Questions

Post by Sir Jack Anderson »

Madam Speaker,

As much as I admire the opposition's commitment to the institution of marriage, and their stellar work in rewarding it in their own ranks by handing out top jobs to the Shadow frontbench's own spouses, this government understands in a modern Britain families come in all shapes and sizes. Instead of having a tax allowance that benefits a certain few, we have decided to ensure the tax and benefit system rewards all families. That includes families with and without children, and partners who are and are not married. That way, we can ensure all families are better off. We have started the job rewarding families without children with our Working Tax Credit, which we still reform and strengthen.

Alongside that, the introduction of the minimum wage which we intend to strengthen and the jobs we have been delivering across the country, and our work at creating a fair tax system which puts the lowest possible burden on families whilst delivering for the services they depend on, I naturally reject the Shadow Chancellor's assertion Britons are worse off. Our taxes system is fairer, wages are higher and poverty is falling - a remarkable change from the legacy of the previous Conservative administration. I am proud of that record, and proud that we're delivering for families across Britain.
Sir Jack Anderson
Labour Party.
Member of Parliament for Southampton Test
Chair of the Treasury Select Committee. (2000-2001)
Chancellor of the Exchequer. (2001-)
First Secretary of State. (2001-)
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