The second reading was a chance for a debate on the principles in, and broad content of, the Finance Bill, but it was a thin exchange on this occasion because of uncertainty about how it will progress and which clauses will be ditched because of the announcement of a general election on June 8. Much of the debate was about the sugar tax.

The SNP put forward an amendment to scupper the Bill, which was voted down by 54- 314. The SNP complained that the Bill failed to provide the necessary stimulus to compensate for the economic impact of Brexit, it failed to address the inequity of VAT being charged on the Scottish Police Authority and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and failed to provide concrete measures to support the oil and gas industry, among other failings.

The Bill will now go to its committee stage, which will take place on the floor of the House of Commons in a single day on April 25th (tomorrow).

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a snap general election will be held on 8 June 2017, subject to winning a vote in Parliament today (April 19), which is expected to be a formality. Under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, two-thirds of MPs (434 of them) must back her motion.

The House of Lords has spent two days debating the committee stage of the Criminal Finances Bill.

During a short debate on tax havens, Lord Sharkey (Liberal Democrat) was told by Lord Young of Cookham, a government whip, that the Government does not have an estimate of the loss to the Exchequer of profit shifting by UK-based companies. 

The Work and Pensions Committee’s inquiry into self-employment and the ‘gig economy’ continued with a session with Matthew Taylor. Taylor is Chief Executive of the of the RSA and leader of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s independent review on modern employment practices.

Some observations on Google UK's financial statement, published today

The concept of earmarking sources of taxation for particular items of expenditure (hypothecation) finds common appeal both from people who want to see an increase in spending on a particular thing and those who want to cut the amount of tax the public pay. 

So, in two years time the bell will toll, the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ will take effect and the UK will leave the European Union. What will this mean for our tax system?

How different ways of working should be taxed was the topic in the latest CIOT/IFS debate, held at the RSA on Monday (20 March 2017)

Work and Pensions Committee continues to call witnesses to discuss  self-employment and the gig economy. The Committee took evidence from, among other people, Victoria Todd of the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG).