Michael called for a ‘fairer economy’ from the backbenches in the debate on the Autumn Budget yesterday.
The local MP welcomed a range of measures from the Chancellor, supporting longer-term and additional money for the NHS.
He called for further action in four specific areas:
First, he argued that the National Insurance threshold should be raised in line with the income tax one. He pointed out that some low paid workers are paying as much in NI contributions as they are income tax.
Second, he highlighted the need for companies like Amazon and Google to pay their share of rates and tax, asserting that Britain ‘shouldn’t have different economies for the big and the small.’
Third, he pointed out that when Margaret Thatcher left government in 1990, 11 million people owned shares. Today, however, only 8 million do. He called for tax breaks for companies that offer free shares to employees and for discounted shares to be offered to the public when the government’s stake in RBS is sold off.
Finally, the Sevenoaks MP advocated a more vigorous push from Government for exports, noting, ‘outside the Single Market, we’re going to live and die by what we sell’.
‘A fairer economy, much wider employee share ownership, exporting at the heart of every government industrial policy, these are some of the steps towards our new economic future’, Michael suggested. ‘Muddling along, mere managerialism will not be enough.’
Concluding his speech, Michael added: ‘Brexit Britain requires a bigger vision, more confident, outward-looking, self-rewarding. Let’s build on this Budget to enable Britain to be bolder still.’