Steve Gee

Liberal Democrat Candidate for Epsom & Ewell

  • Steve Gee

    I am your Liberal Democrat Candidate for the General Election.

    This blog gives you my views on current political issues.

    It also covers some Lib Dem
    policies that I think are particularly important.

    Steve

  • Contact Details:

    98 Nork Way,
    Banstead,
    Surrey SM7 1HP.
    01737 362810
    steve@steve4epsom.com

  • Administration

  • Published and promoted by Derek Harwood on behalf of Stephen Gee and the Epsom & Ewell Liberal Democrats all at 38 West Farm Close, Ashtead, Surrey KT21 2LJ.

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Posts Tagged ‘#Taxes’

Fair taxes

Posted by Steve Gee on Thursday 18 May 2017

In order to balance the books and build a sustainable economy for the future we must ensure that everyone pays their fair share. Liberal Democrats have a longstanding commitment to fairer taxation, and in government we raised the personal allowance for Income Tax. It remains our ambition to make taxes fairer and simpler, to help those on low and middle incomes, and to ensure that those on the highest incomes, and large international companies, make a fair contribution. We will:

  • Aim in the long-term, and as resources allow, to raise the employee national insurance threshold to the Income Tax threshold, while protecting low earners’ ability to accrue pension and benefit entitlements.
  • Ensure those with the highest incomes and wealth are making a fair contribution. We have identified a series of distortions, loopholes and excessive reliefs that should be removed. These include reforms to Capital Gains Tax and dividend tax relief, and refocusing entrepreneurs’ relief. We would reverse a number of the Conservatives’ unfair and unjustified tax cuts, including:
    • The cutting of Corporation Tax from 20% to 17%.
    • Capital Gains Tax cuts.
    • Capital Gains Tax extended relief.
    • The Marriage Allowance.
    • The raising of the Inheritance Tax threshold.
  • Take tough action against corporate tax evasion and avoidance, including by:
    • Introducing a General Anti-Avoidance Rule, setting a target for HM Revenue and Customs to reduce the tax gap, and continuing to invest in staff to enable them to meet it.
    • Reforming Corporation Tax to develop a system that benefits the smallest companies while ensuring the biggest multinationals cannot avoid paying sums comparable to nationally based competitors. We will consult on shifting away from a profits-based tax to one that takes account of a wider range of economic activity indicators, such as sales and turnover.
    • Reviewing the Business Rates system, prioritising reforms that recognise the development of the digital economy, lessening the burden on smaller businesses, and ensuring high streets remain competitive. We will also consider the implementation of Land Value Taxation.
  • Conduct a full-scale review into the burden of taxation and spending between generations to ensure that government policy promotes fairness between generations.

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Lib Dems’ penny for NHS would raise over £124 million extra for Surrey

Posted by Steve Gee on Friday 12 May 2017

The Lib Dems have announced we would plug funding gaps for the NHS and social care by putting a penny on income tax, in our first major manifesto commitment of the General Election campaign.

The tax would raise an additional £124.7 million for Surrey, with £76 million for the NHS and £48.7 million for social care each year.

This is the party’s flagship spending commitment and its first major policy announcement for the election.  The Lib Dems manifesto will also set out a ‘five-point recovery plan’ for NHS and social care services in the manifesto.

At least 70% of Brits would happily pay an extra 1p in every pound if that money was guaranteed to go to the NHS, an ITV poll found last October.

Right across Surrey we are seeing patients lying on trolleys in hospital corridors, urgent operations being cancelled and the elderly being denied the care they need.  The Lib Dems are prepared to be honest with people and say that to secure the future of the NHS we will all need to chip in a little more.

A penny in the pound would allow us to invest in improving local NHS services and ensuring the elderly receive the care they deserve.  This Conservative Government has left our health and care services chronically underfunded – and while the crisis gets worse they just do not seem to care.  We cannot continue asking the system to deliver more and more, without giving it the resources to do so.

The NHS was once the envy of the world and this pledge is the first step in restoring it to where it should be.  A penny in the pound to save the NHS is money well spent in our view.  However, simply providing more money on its own is not enough and that is why this is just the first step in our plan to protect health and care services in the long term.

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The HSBC Tax Scandal

Posted by Steve Gee on Monday 16 February 2015

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Steve Gee

It is a disgrace that so many big companies are avoiding paying tax in the countries in which they earn income and this has a real effect in times of austerity on the level of cuts in benefits that the poorest in society have had to bear.

It is a great social injustice and something that has to be tackled if we are to create a fairer society. As a party we have just made proposals to raise £8bn of taxes in the next parliament which will include only raising it from the wealthiest in society and from companies that aren’t paying their fair share. So our proposals are fully in line with a principle of eliminating Tax Dodging as we move forward.

I was shocked to hear media reports claiming that HSBC helped thousands of wealthy clients avoid tax from countries all over the world and that members of the Tory party seem to think that this isn’t an issue but just what “everyone does”.

Since 2010, the Government has closed many of the loopholes exposed in the report and specifically taken action to get back money lost in Swiss bank accounts. HMRC has systematically worked through all the HSBC data that it has received and has brought in more than £135m in tax, interest and penalties from tax evaders who hid assets in Swiss HSBC accounts. But there is still much more to do.

Danny Alexander

That is why I’m pleased that Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has made tackling tax avoidance a top priority and has made progress on many of the issues you raise. Since coming into Government in 2010 he has led a crackdown on tax avoidance and evasion that is closing loopholes and making more people pay up.

Liberal Democrats in Government have already made over forty changes to the law to close loopholes and make big strategic changes to the way tax is collected to ensure fewer people slip through the net.

The changes we have made include:

  1. the introduction of a General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR);
  2. strengthening the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS) regime;
  3. introducing a tougher monitoring regime and penalties for high-risk promoters of tax avoidance schemes;
  4. giving Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) the power to collect disputed tax bills up front (thus removing the incentive for tax avoiders to delay and frustrate HMRC’s efforts to settle disputes);
  5. clamping down on Stamp Duty tax avoidance with a new range of measures.

Another big change was to invest almost £1bn in HMRC to tackle tax avoidance, recruiting 2,500 extra members of staff to work on tackling tax avoidance and opening a new Large Business Directorate last year to deal specifically with the tax affairs of the 2,100 largest firms in the UK. Part of their work will be to enforce the new Diverted Profits Tax, which will counter the use of aggressive tax planning methods used by some big firms to divert their profits to areas with very low rates of tax. We hope this tax will yield an extra £1.35bn over the next five years.

I am also pleased that we have worked internationally to tackle tax avoidance and that this was one of the main goals of the UK’s presidency of the G8 group of nations.

During our presidency, we won G8 agreement on transparency on the real owners of businesses, as well as getting the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to develop a country-by-country reporting template for multinationals to report profit and tax information. Over 90 countries are signed up to the new International Comprehensive Report Standards, closing down options for tax cheats, while around £2bn in previously unpaid tax has been brought in from our new agreements with Switzerland and Lichtenstein alone.

There is clearly much more to do at home and abroad, but I am proud of the work that Liberal Democrats have done in Government to close loopholes and force tax cheats to pay more of their fair share. Thanks to the steps we have taken, the tax yield for this year will be around £9bn more than when we came into Government in 2010.

Going forward, Liberal Democrats are determined not to let up in the fight against tax cheats. If we are in Government again our aim is to make progress on this agenda in every Budget and Autumn Statement of the next Parliament. We will continue to invest in HMRC, as we have done in Government, to enable them to do more to tackle tax evasion and avoidance. We will also introduce a range of other measures, including a General Anti-Avoidance Rule, which goes much further than the current anti-abuse rule. We will seek to extend the requirement for country-by-country reporting from banks and extractive industries to cover all UK listed companies.

The majority of these proposals will be introduced through the annual Finance Bill, allowing us to take regular action throughout the Parliament.

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The Liberal Democrats’ five priorities for the next five years

Posted by Steve Gee on Thursday 12 February 2015

2014 Logo 2

The Liberal Democrats have unveiled the party’s five priorities for the next five years.

These five priorities set out the Liberal Democrat agenda for government of building a stronger economy and a fairer society, creating opportunity for everyone.

1. Prosperity for all 

Creating a stronger economy is about more than just clearing the deficit that’s why we will balance the budget fairly and invest in building a high skill low-carbon economy. To build a strong, green, innovative economy we need to invest in upgrading our national infrastructure and producing the clean renewable energy that will power our future prosperity.

2. Fair taxes 

Creating a fairer society by cutting income tax by an additional £400 by raising the tax-free allowance to £12,500.

3. Quality healthcare for all

Creating a fairer society by properly funding our world-class public services by investing in them as the economy grows. This means making sure the NHS has the extra £8bn a year it needs by 2020. Ending the stigma around mental health and putting it on equal footing with physical is vital to building a fairer society.

4. Opportunity for every child

Protecting the education budget from cradle to college, so that every child and young person has the opportunity to fulfill their potential, from nursery school to higher education. Giving children the best start in life by making sure there is a qualified teacher in every class.

5. Our environment protected

Protecting the environment so that future generations are not left paying for the mistakes of the generations before them. Fighting climate change with five Green Laws.

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