Government defeats over public money in Parliament (crowd sourcing examples)

This is an appeal for a bit of research help from Whitehall Watch’s highly knowledgeable readership…..

There is a widespread belief – often repeated  in serious academic texts – that any defeat on ‘budget’ or ‘money’ motions in the House of Commons is tantamount to a vote of no confidence. I’m grateful to Prof Philip Cowley for pointing out this isn’t actually true in practice   – there have been about 20 cases, at least, of defeats since 1918 (see table below) none of which was treated as a vote of confidence.

(Which is not to say Parliament doesn’t effectively and seriously restrict what it can and does do about ‘tax and spend’ decisions in other ways – I have a piece appearing in Public Finance soon about that).

Below is the list I have so far (with most of this coming from the excellent  http://www.election.demon.co.uk website). Any clarifications or corrections gratefully received. I’m especially curious about possible defeats in Committee or on Supply.

 

Government defeats and amendments on Budget (Ways and Means, Finance or Supply) motions in the House of Commons since 1918

 

Date

 

Question

 

Coalition Government (Lloyd George)

1918-22 Parliament

19th July 1921 Amendment to the Finance Bill (to exclude from consideration for Corporation Profits Tax the profits or surplus arising from a registered Provident Society trading with its own members).

Conservative Government (Bonar Law)

None.

1922-23 Parliament

None.

Conservative Government (Baldwin)

None.

1924 Parliament

None.

Labour Government (Macdonald)

7th April 1924 Amendment to Ways and Means Resolution to exclude the charge on supplies of milk from the charges for which it is expedient to give legal validity for. (The charges had been imposed by Defence Regulations during the Great War)
30th June 1924 Amendment to the Finance Bill to prevent Entertainment Duty being charged on entertainments where all the profits go to philanthropic, charitable or educational purposes.

1924-29 Parliament

Conservative Government (Baldwin)

None.

1929-31 Parliament

Labour Government (Macdonald)

15th June 1931 Motion to retain wording of the Finance Bill, to retain requirement that land tax is assessed on the cultivation value of agricultural land only.

National Government (Macdonald)

None.

1931-35 Parliament

None.

National Government (Baldwin)

None.

1935-45 Parliament

None.

National Government (Chamberlain)

None.

National Government (Churchill)

None.

Conservative Caretaker Government (Churchill)

None.

1945-50 Parliament

Labour Government (Attlee)

None.

1950-51 Parliament

None.

1951-55 Parliament

Conservative Government (Churchill)

None.

Conservative Government (Eden)

None.

1955-59 Parliament

None.

Conservative Government (Macmillan)

None.

1959-64 Parliament

None.

Conservative Government (Douglas-Home)

None.

1964-66 Parliament

Labour Government (Wilson)

6th July 1965 Second reading of new clause to the Finance (No. 2) Bill (to require that the rate of Capital Gains Tax payable by a unit trust or investment trust does not exceed that payable by an individual under the Bill).
6th July 1965 Motion to add the new clause to the Finance (No. 2) Bill.
6th July 1965 Motion that further consideration of the Finance (No. 2) Bill, as amended, be adjourned.

1966-70 Parliament

None.

1970-74 Parliament

Conservative Government (Heath)

None.

1974 Parliament

Labour Government (Wilson)

19th June 1974 Second reading of new clause to the Finance Bill (to give provident benefit income exemptions under section 338 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act to registered trade unions, and to restore the exemption retrospectively to those trade unions deregistered under the Industrial Relations Act 1971).
16th July 1974 Second reading of new clause to the Finance Bill (to raise the limit for small companies Corporation Tax liability from £15,000 and £25,000 to £25,000 and £40,000).
16th July 1974 Amendment to the Finance Bill (to restrict the rate of pool betting duty from 40% to 33 1/3 % for holders of licences under the Pool Competitions Act 1971 and any person approved by the Secretary of State on the recommendations of the Gaming Board – those holding pools competitions to raise money to sustain charities or sporting organisations).
16th July 1974 Amendment to the Finance Bill (to make VAT charges on hiring of goods retrospective to 1st April 1973, and not to apply them only from the date of Royal Assent).
16th July 1974 Amendment to the Finance Bill (to set the additional rate of income tax for 1974-5 on investment income at 15% on incomes over £2,000 per annum).

1974-79 Parliament

17th July 1975 Amendment to the Finance Bill (to exclude television sets hired before 16th April 1975 from the higher 25% rate of Value Added Tax).
10th March 1976 Motion to approve government policy on public expenditure.
14 June 1977 The ‘Rooker-Wise’ amendment to Finance Bill to index-link income tax thresholds passed in Committee

Labour Government (Callaghan)

8th May 1978 Amendment to the Finance Bill (to reduce basic rate of income tax from 34% to 33%).
10th May 1978 Amendment to the Finance Bill (to increase income level at which higher rate income tax becomes payable from £7,000 to £8,000).
10th May 1978 Motion to report progress (i.e. end consideration in Committee) on the Finance Bill.

1979-83 Parliament

Conservative Government (Thatcher)

30 April 1981 Amendment to Finance Bill on diesel (derv) to reduce increase from 20p per gallon to 10p, accepted by Government in the face of strong opposition. (Increases to cigarette and gambling taxes to compensate).

1983-87 Parliament

None.

1987-92 Parliament

None.

Conservative Government (Major)

None.

1992-97 Parliament

6th December 1994 Amendment to budget motion on ‘Amendment of the Law’ to declare provision for changing the rate of Value Added Tax on fuel and power for domestic and charity use is not among the subjects for which it is expedient to amend the law.

1997 Parliament

Labour Government (Blair)

None.

2001 Parliament

None.

2005 Parliament

None.

Labour Government (Brown)

None.

2010 Parliament

Coalition Government (Cameron)

None.

Source: extracted and amended from http://www.election.demon.co.uk/defeats.html .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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