Andrea Leadsom Local MP Attends First Treasury Select Committee
|Author: Andrea Leadsom||Published: 14th July 2010 10:01|
Andrea Leadsom MP for South Northants
The first meeting of the Treasury Select Committee took place yesterday in Westminster. Local MP Andrea Leadsom is one of the members of this influential group, scrutinising government decision making in all financial matters around tax payers’ money and the budget.
First to be called to account was Sir Alan Budd, outgoing Head of the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBS) set up by the Coalition Government to provide independent forecasting of our economic position. Sir Alan was probed on how independent the OBS really is from Government – he insisted that the Chancellor’s office had nothing to do with the timing of the release of favourable forecasts following Budget announcements.
Sir Alan put up a strong defence of the OBS, later reinforced by a senior Treasury civil servant, that the transparency in numbers achieved by the OBS in a few short weeks has been a giant step forward in giving tax payers a clear idea of how budgetary changes will affect their personal circumstances.
A panel of expert economists were also interviewed, and Andrea questioned them closely on their views of the bank levy – did they think the banks had ‘got off lightly’ or were they concerned that the levy might drive bank headquarters overseas? She also asked whether the panel felt banks were doing enough to support the recovery of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) whose success will be key to a private sector recovery in Britain.
The general feedback was that the banks accept the levy, that the reduction in corporate income taxes may partially offset the cost of the levy for those that are in profit and that the key requirement of the banks is ‘certainty’ about regulation.
The panel agreed that lending to SMEs is critical and that a healthy financial sector is key to meeting that need.
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