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Richmond Park News: 2 December 2022


On Wednesday, the Government passed the Finance Bill, which is the accompanying legislation to many of the tax changes announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. As the Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson, I tabled a number of amendments to this Bill:

  • Stealth tax rises: I tabled an amendment that would require HMRC to write to all those affected by the income tax threshold freezes, whether they're paying more tax than they normally would, or they've been dragged into a higher tax band. People need clarity over the impact that these stealth taxes will have on their tax liabilities. The Government voted against this amendment.

  • Windfall tax: The Government's windfall tax was introduced too late, and companies such as Shell have been able to avoid paying it by offsetting their tax liability against further oil and gas exploration. I tabled two amendments to the Bill that would have a) required a report on the amount that could have been raised had a windfall tax been implemented in October 2021, and b) required a quarterly assessment of how much revenue has been forgone through the investment allowance, and published the names of the companies that have benefited from it.

  • Tax on electric vehicles: The Government has removed the Vehicle Excise Duty exemption for electric vehicles, which will raise almost £3 billion by April 2028. This is a huge sum of money that could be invested into our public transport network, or electric vehicle infrastructure, to support the UK’s climate goals. I therefore tabled an amendment that would require the Government to produce quarterly assessments on the impact of the removal of the EV exemption on the UK’s climate change duties, air pollution, EV infrastructure and public transport.

You can read a full transcript of the debate on the Finance Bill here.


Creative industries rely on intellectual property and copyright laws for their income. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO), which sits within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, is currently proposing to introduce an exception to copyright in order to promote Artificial Intelligence (AI). This exception is labelled ‘Text and Data Mining’.

These proposals would be damaging to creative workers, such as in the music and publishing industries, as AI companies would be able to use their works without permission or payment. This would lead to a huge transfer of value from the creative industries to AI companies and also potentially damage the competitiveness of our world-leading creative industries.

I was encouraged to hear Julia Lopez, a Minister in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, tell a Lords select committee last week that she was confident the Text and Data Mining proposals will not go ahead in their current form. At DCMS oral questions in Parliament on Thursday, I asked the Minister what steps she will be taking to ensure that any proposals to promote AI do not cause economic harm for the creative industry. I also asked that she provide an update on her conversations with the IPO, including detail on their plans to extend the consultation on these proposals. You can see a clip of my contribution here, and read a transcript of question and response here.

I will continue to work alongside industry groups to ensure that the Government listens to the concerns of creative workers and does not press ahead with their current proposals. Please do get in touch with my office if you have any concerns related to these proposals.