Edward Leigh today pressed the government to do more to help protect Market Rasen Racecourse. Racing in Britain has suffered from the flight of betting companies. They move offshore in order to avoid the taxes and regulations imposed in Britain whilst still accepting online bets from consumers here, and on races held at Market Rasen Racecourse. This scandal has really hit racing which is partly funded by a levy on racing betting.
Edward Leigh, who is proud to be able to count Market Rasen Racecourse as part of his constituency, argued for a reduction in the overall level of tax on the betting industry. ‘We don’t want betting to go the same way as shipping – chased offshore by excessive taxation and regulation’ he argued in a debate on the future of Racing, in Parliament today.
Edward Leigh has always been firm in his belief that reducing taxation and regulation is the key to getting the economy going again, particularly when it comes to small and medium businesses like Market Rasen Racecourse.
The UK has a labyrinthine tax system. Much of the responsibility for this lies with the last Labour government, which burdened British citizens and businesses with over 5,000 pages of new tax rules and regulations. The result; our Tax Code has more than doubled in size since 1997, recently surpassing India’s to become the largest in the world.
This has allowed the growth of an entire industry to discover tax loopholes. The TUC claims tax avoidance costs the Treasury £13 billion per year in lost tax from individuals, and £12 billion per year in unpaid tax from businesses. This dwarfs the estimated £1 billion a year lost as a result of benefit fraud.
With the Coalition Government forced to make tough choices about public spending in order to reduce the deficit, we need to consider not just what the government spends money on, but also how the government raises taxes in the first place. If we really want a simpler tax system, we should implement a flat tax for both individuals and businesses.
This is how it would work. Read the rest of this entry »
Marriage is one of the cornerstones of a strong society, a fact which can be attested to by many of the residents of our Lincolnshire towns and villages who are celebrating their silver, golden, and diamond wedding anniversaries around this time of year. But the unfortunate reality in Britain today is that married couples are actually hard done by. In particular, our tax system makes no proper recognition of marriage, a defect which leads to an increase in many of the common problems that plague our society. Read the rest of this entry »
Edward Leigh has backed the FairFuel UK campaign against the April increase in fuel duty. Gainsborough, the Lincolnshire constituency Mr Leigh represents, is overwhelmingly rural and home to many small- and medium-sized enterprises dependent on travel by road. Public transportation options in Lincolnshire are also limited, further increasing the dependence of families and individuals upon automobiles.
“The public finances were left in such a perilous condition by the previous Government that the current Government are forced to make very difficult decisions to bring things back to order,” Mr Leigh said. “It is understandable that these decisions will sometimes have unwelcome results, and that not everyone can be pleased. However the increase in fuel duties is an unwise method of attempting to balance the books that unfairly penalises motorists and businesses.”
“I am convinced that, no matter how small, increases in fuel duty, VAT, and other taxes do not lay the foundations for a return of prosperity. Instead, they penalise the economic interactions of small- and medium-scale enterprises such as your own, inhibiting a full-scale economic recovery. If anything we should consider lowering duties to encourage enterprise and economic expansion.”
I have listened to nearly thirty Budgets since I arrived in Parliament.
Usually, they are thoroughly depressing things to witness due to their lack of realism and honesty. No government wants to be blamed for tightening the screws on the nation that honoured it with their votes, so when money is to be saved, therefore, it is often through stealth taxes and fiscal mechanisms that are implied by the ethos of the budget, but never specifically asserted. However, I am satisfied that with this budget, George Osborne has laid his cards on the table and shown us what we must do to make Britain stand upright again. What you see is what you get. I see a lot of difficulty and pain, but no Wolf under the bed. Read the rest of this entry »