Budget proposals clear Commons

Legislation enacting this year's Budget cleared the Commons tonight as ministers hailed tax cuts for the least well off and new pensions flexibility for those in retirement.

Chancellor George Osborne
Chancellor George Osborne presented his Budget in March

Treasury Minister David Gauke said the package, presented to MPs by Chancellor George Osborne in March, built on strong foundations laid by the Government.

But shadow minister Chris Leslie said there should have been more measures to help people with the cost of living, promoting a 10p starter rate of tax in the Third Reading debate.

MPs voted to back the Finance Bill by 289 to 228, a majority of 61.

Mr Gauke said: "Finance Bill 2014 delivers measures that will help British businesses invest and create jobs, help British households work and save, and help ensure everyone in Britain pays their fair share of tax.

"The Bill builds on the strong foundations we have secured in the past four years, safeguarding our economic stability, creating a fairer, more efficient and simpler tax system - and driving through reforms to unleash the private sector enterprise and ambition that is critical to our recovery."

But Mr Leslie said: "It's a Bill long on clauses but short on ambition I'm afraid to say.

"There's a crass and ill-timed tax cut for investment fund managers, there's the abolition of stamp duty reserve tax.

"At a time when so many people int this country with cuts to tax credits, the bedroom tax, other parts of society really finding it difficult to make ends meet, but the Government's priority was to give that support and help first and foremost to those poor, hard-up investment fund managers.

"I think it's a badge of shame."