There were a large number of maiden speeches during yesterday's final day of debate on the Queen's Speech.
"To the dismay of the right hon. Member for Holborn and St Pancras (Frank Dobson), I have to tell him that for 19 years I have been an investment banker. In my case, this is one brain that was sucked up by the City and has now come to serve the people in this Parliament. I worked in London, Singapore and New York. I readily admit that being seen as an investment banker was not the most useful thing on the campaign trail, but it helped prepare me for a profession not well liked by the general public. Let us hope that all of us, on both sides of the House, can work together over the coming years to help restore the nation’s respect for our great Parliament.
"In view of my background in finance, I am particularly pleased to give my maiden speech during this debate on economic affairs. There are many global economic uncertainties at the moment, and they have potentially grave consequences for our economy. First, the euro is only just beginning to have problems. It was always a political contrivance that had virtually nothing to do with economics. Secondly, the world’s largest emerging market economies, which have buttressed global demand since the onset of the credit crisis, are about to go through a period of monetary tightening, and we can no longer rely on them for global growth.
"Thirdly, industrialised nations, including our own, that have issued vast amounts of sovereign debt over the past three years in particular can no longer go on that way. We have to make sure that when we look at these issues, we never forget the traditional disciplines that have stood Britain in good stead—sound public finances, low and simple taxation, and light and flexible regulation. It is when we forget these disciplines that we put our future prosperity at risk."
"I am someone with first-hand experience of a start-up. We must be careful what we do on capital gains tax. Of course I understand the need to raise some taxes and to help to create a fairer tax system. It must be right to relieve the lowest earners of the tax burden. I would go as far as labelling it a moral tax cut. However, it is important to remember the job creators, those who back them and those who join them and work for them. It would be counter-productive to penalise people who invest in start-ups—in itself a high-risk thing—by increasing CGT on their investment. It would also be wrong to penalise employees who join a risky start-up from possibly a safer occupation and, of course, to penalise entrepreneurs themselves.
"In the Gracious Speech there was a strong focus on freedom, fairness and responsibility. It would be unfair and wrong to penalise people who have acted and saved responsibly with a further tax at a time when we are introducing incentives to act responsibly in marriage and partnership. Penalising responsible investment would be to send a contradictory and unhealthy message to the country."