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Summary

  1. MPs and peers returned to Westminster after the Easter break.
  2. There was a statement on tax from Prime Minister David Cameron; as well as an update on the UK steel industry and on the government's EU referendum leaflets.
  3. MPs spent the rest of the day debating the Finance Bill.
  4. Peers asked ministers questions, followed by report stage of the Housing and Planning Bill.

Live Reporting

By Aiden James and Patrick Cowling

All times stated are UK

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Commons adjourns

House of Commons

Parliament

That concludes a very long first day back for MPs.

The House meets again at 11am tomorrow for an emergency debate on the UK steel industry.

It follows a request by shadow business secretary Angela Eagle during today's session, which gained the backing of her colleagues.

Join us then for live coverage.

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

The final business tonight is the adjournment debate.

Conservative MP Andrew Murrison opens a debate on the management of upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

Given the busy day in the Commons, he jokes that he is relieved to be starting his debate "at this hour, rather than two o'clock in the morning, as was previously rumoured".

MPs back bill at second reading

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs back the Finance Bill by 308 votes to 248, giving the government a majority of 60.

Some clauses of the bill will now be considered in detail by MPs in a committee of the whole House at a future date.

These include provisions on corporation tax, insurance premium tax and the climate change levy.

Other provisions will be considered by a public bill committee away from the main chamber.

Second reading vote

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Commons division
BBC

The debate on the general principles of the Finance Bill concludes and the House divides to vote on giving the bill a second reading.

Minister responds

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Damian Hinds
BBC

Exchequer Secretary Damian Hinds responds for the government, arguing that policies such as the lifetime ISA and the help-to-save programme encourage saving.

On tax transparency, he says overseas territories "do have to play their part", insisting that territory leaders have agreed to hold central registers of "beneficial ownership".

The Finance Bill contains further measures against "multinational tax avoidance", he adds.

Chancellor 'borrowing like a drunken sailor'

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow Treasury minister Rob Marris welcomes two million extra jobs in the economy but claims they have been "bought on a sea of debt".

He also says the Panama Papers reveal the British Virgin Islands to be "the number one" offshore tax haven and so far "only two" overseas territories have agreed to a register of the real owners of companies.

He then resumes an attack on George Osborne:

The chancellor is borrowing like a drunken sailor, using the nation's credit card to pay the day-to-day bills. That's just plain wrong and it will end in tears."

SNP: We have to oppose Budget

House of Commons

Parliament

George Kerevan
BBC

SNP MP George Kerevan argues that the government's policy of running permanent budget surpluses will discourage saving and investment.

He predicts money will go overseas and there will be a "big demand for offshore investment trusts".

This was not a Budget "for savings" he says, adding: "This is why we have to oppose it."

UK 'has leverage' over offshore tax havens

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour MP John Mann says the UK has influence over its overseas territories which act as tax havens.

"We pay for their defence," he says. "We have leverage."

He adds:

They need to abide by our rules."

John Mann
BBC

Amendments on corporate profits

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour MP Caroline Flint urges the government to accept provisions from a private members' bill she has introduced on reporting of multinational corporations' profits.

She argues it is unfair that corporations can move profits around the world rather than paying tax in the country in which they made them.

She calls on the government to accept the measures in the form of amendments to the Finance Bill. 

Last amendment of the night defeated

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers reject amendment 38 by 41 votes to 146, a majority of 105.

That brings to an end the day's consideration of the Housing and Planning Bill and the House of Lords adjourns for the evening.

Peers will return tomorrow at 2.30pm with oral questions, followed by the Immigration Bill, Energy Bill and Northern Ireland Bill.

'Omnishambles' recalled

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Rachel Reeves
BBC

Labour MP Rachel Reeves recalls her time as shadow chief secretary to the Treasury during the so-called "omnishambles" Budget of 2012.

She argues the 2016 Budget "unraveled" more quickly than the 2012 one, with changes to disability benefits and pensions tax relief being dropped.

"The political prospects of the chancellor have unraveled" along with his Budget, she tells MPs.

Division on guardianship schemes

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Beecham
BBC

Peers have divided to vote on amendment 38, which attempts to set out a set of standards for property guardianship schemes.

The amendment would extend certain tenant rights to people in property guardianship schemes that they currently do not have.

Under the schemes, tenants are brought in to vacant properties to deter squatters and vandalism.

Lord Beecham says that the minister has given "a completely unacceptable answer" to his questions and so pushes the amendment to a division.

Small businesses 'the engine of growth'

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP David Warburton welcomes cuts to corporation tax and changes to business rates.

"Anyone who has run a small business knows that business rates can take up an intimidatingly large proportion of fixed costs," he says.

He calls small businesses "the engine of growth".

However, he criticises some large corporations, alleging they "skip around in the no man's land between tax avoidance and evasion".

Amendment defeated

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers have rejected amendment 35 by 157 votes to 50, a majority of 107.

The government have now defeated three amendments today, and the debate comes on to the home straight as Lord Beecham moves amendment 38 - the target for today's legislative scrutiny.

Division on Amendment 35

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Kennedy has decided to push the House to a vote on amendment 35 - the fifth of the day so far.

Amendment 35 would insert the following clause into the bill relating to tenant deposit protection:

Upon the coming into force of this section, the secretary of state must undertake a review of tenancy deposit schemes, as introduced under sections 212 to 215 of the Housing Act 2004 (tenancy deposit schemes), in order to ensure that tenants are treated fairly at the end of their tenancy.”

UK territories are 'number one' tax haven, claims MP

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Roger Mullin
BBC

SNP MP Roger Mullin attacks the government's Budget and says the Finance Bill "presages yet more failure".

His speech focuses on tax havens which, he claims, "hide one sixth of the world's total private wealth".

"Panama doesn’t even make the top ten of tax havens," Mr Mullin says, while the UK and "her overseas territories are number one".

Tenant deposit protection

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Tope and Baroness Hayter agree not to move their amendments relating to electrical safety checks, after assurances from the government that the issue will be addressed by ministers.

The debate moves on to amendment 35, which is moved by Labour spokesman Lord Kennedy of Southwark and relates to a review of deposit protection for tenants.

Lord Kennedy says the purpose of the review is to ensure that tenants are treated fairly at the end of their tenancy. He says that often tenants need deposits from one tenancy for the next property they are moving into.

Lord Kennedy of Southwark
BBC

Bill 'rewards saving and work'

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Nigel Mills rises to support the Finance Bill.

He says it "rewards saving, rewards work" and cracks down on "aggressive tax avoidance".

However, he calls for more transparency from large companies, including "making them publish their tax returns". 

Electrical safety checks

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Evans
BBC

Peers are now debating an extensive group of amendments that relate to electrical safety checks in rental accommodation.

Amendment 33, moved by Labour peer Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town and Liberal Democrat Lord Tope, would establish a requirement to carry out electrical safety checks in rented accommodation.

The government has tabled a number of amendments relating to this issue and minister Baroness Evans of Bowes Park says that the proposals have support "across the sector".

Labour to oppose Finance Bill

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

"We will vote against this Finance Bill because it is unfair," Labour's Seema Malhotra says.

The shadow minister says the bill "fails the test of moving Britain forwards to a more prosperous future".

Labour welcomes North Sea oil tax cut

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow minister Seema Malhotra says Labour welcomes some aspects of the Budget, including a reduction in oil and gas corporation tax.

"There is no doubt the North Sea oil and gas industry needs support," she tells MPs. 

Amendment rejected

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers have voted to reject amendment 32 by 64 votes to 170, a majority of 106.

Things seem to be going the government's way at the moment, as they have seen off the opposition in another vote.

Amendment 32

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers are currently voting on amendment 32 to the Housing and Planning Bill at report stage.

Amendment 32 would amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to introduce an implied term of fitness for human habitation in residential lettings.

The full wording of amendment 32, and the other amendments being debated today can be found here.

Peers in a voting mood

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Kennedy of Southwark responds to the government from the Labour front bench,  thanking the minister for her reply but saying he found it "woefully inadequate". 

The opposition indicate they wish to test the opinion of the House on the issue and so amendment 32 is put to a vote.

The division result is expected at 8.45pm.

Amendment is 'bad for good landlords'

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Government Minister Baroness Evans of Bowes Park says that the government does not support this amendment because it will give "extra hoops for good landlords to jump through" and could cause extra costs for landlords that could push up prices for tenants.

Baroness Evans also says that the measure would play into the hands of rogue landlords as vulnerable tenants would be put in a position where they would be expected to effectively survey their own properties, rather than rely on professionals from the local authority.

From 'omnishambles' to 'megashambles'

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Seema Malhotra
BBC

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Seema Malhotra leads with an attack on Chancellor George Osborne's Budget.

She claims government tax proposals "shed no further light" on offshore trusts and fall "far short" of Labour's proposals on transparency.

Labour labelled the chancellor's 2012 Budget as an "onmishambles" but Ms Malhotra calls the 2016 Budget a "megashambles", adding:

No Budget has unraveled as quickly and as comprehensively as this one."

Power to the consumer?

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Liberal Democrat Baroness Grender rises to support this group of amendments and says she is "at a loss as to why the government doesn't support this simple measure".

Baroness Grender says the government should support the amendment for three reasons:

"Firstly, this is not new legislation it is updating existing legislation - therefore not additional bureaucracy.Secondly, it puts power into the hands of the consumer, and thirdly it will not cost a good landlord anything."

Baroness Grender finishes by asking "why is a Conservative government not leaping at the opportunity to give more power to the customer?" 

Baroness Grender
BBC

Amendment rejected

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

The government scores its first victory of the day in the division lobbies, with peers voting to reject Liberal Democrat amendment 27 by 83 votes to 169, a majority of 86.

Peers are now debating a group of amendments relating to making a legal requirement for residential properties to be fit for human habitation when rented. 

Lib Dem MP: 'Name and shame' tax avoiders

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Greg Mulholland
BBC

Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland mentions the Panama Papers again and asks why the Finance Bill does not contain measures to "allow HMRC to publicly name those people who are involved in tax avoidance".

He argues for the option of "being able to name and shame them after the first warning".

Treasury Minister David Gauke responds: "The ability to name and shame facilitators of tax avoidance is something which this government has brought in."

He thinks the current policy of doing so after three warnings "is about right".

English votes for English laws

Division in the Lords

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Is it third time lucky for the government in the House of Lords today? 

Peers have divided to vote on amendment 27 to the Housing and Planning Bill at report stage.

Amendment 27 seeks to put a new clause in the Bill that would introduce a code of practice in the private rented sector. 

The code of practice would contain provisions designed to ensure:

  • the provision of homes for rent which are of a good quality; 
  • consistent and high standards of management; and 
  • choice for the consumer 

Finance Bill debate begins

House of Commons

Parliament

After a marathon session of ministerial statements, MPs finally get to today's legislation.

The Finance (No. 2) Bill gives effect to measures announced in the Budget.

Points of order

House of Commons

Parliament

A variety of MPs from across the House are raising various points of order with the Speaker.

The complaints range from MPs who have not been notified of ministerial visits to their constituencies, questions that are felt to have not been answered by the government, and two questions about the government's EU referendum leaflets.

Labour MP Diana Johnson finishes the rather extensive batch of points of order by asking for clarification that the emergency debate on steel now scheduled for tomorrow will not cause the planned debate on contaminated blood to be pushed off the order paper to another day - the Speaker intimates that he believes the contaminated blood debate will take place as planned tomorrow.

Emergency debate on steel industry approved

Emergency debate request

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow Business Secretary Angela Eagle has submitted a request for an emergency debate on the UK steel industry.

Ms Eagle has three minutes to make her case for the need to have an emergency debate on this subject to the Speaker.

Ms Eagle says an emergency debate is needed "given the potentially devastating impact on steel workers up and down the country and the urgency of this issue". 

The Speaker approves the request; following indications of support across the House, he says that the debate - to last up to three hours - will be the first item of business after questions tomorrow. 

'Robert Mugabe antics'

EU referendum leaflets statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Nigel Evans
BBC

Conservative MP Nigel Evans, asks when the other side of the government who want to leave the EU will be allowed to express their opinion - referring to the Cabinet members who are campaigning to leave the European Union.

Mr Evans ups the ante in the chamber by saying that as a member of the Council of Europe part of his responsibility is observing elections.

"If I witnessed in any of those countries the kind of spiv-Robert Mugabe antics that I've seen by this government then I would condemn the conduct of that election as being not fair."

Other uses for the leaflet

EU referendum leaflets statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Nigel Adams joins fellow Leave campaigners in speaking against the government sending out the leaflet.

Mr Adams says: "I believe the minister is a fair man, and this should have been a fair campaign but clearly the spending of tax payers money on this propaganda is unfair".

The MP for Selby and Ainsty says that there is anger in his constituency that in a time of austerity, the government is sending out such a leaflet.

"I was disappointed that it was printed on shiny, glossy paper; had it been printed on something a bit more absorbent then at least my constituents would have been able to put it to good use" he says, prompting laughter across the chamber.

Minister sent to Commons as 'sacrificial lamb'

EU referendum leaflets statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Stewart McDonald
BBC

SNP MP Stewart McDonald tells Mr Lidington that he is "the first Conservative I have ever felt sorry for" as he is being sent again as a "sacrificial lamb" to the chamber.

Mr McDonald says that as a supporter of remaining in the EU, he is concerned that the government is alienating voters rather than informing them. 

Indignation over leaflets 'a touch overdone'

EU referendum leaflets statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Pro-EU Conservative MP Damian Green says that the Commons "has specifically passed legislation allowing the government to produce this leaflet as long as it is not in the last 28 days of the referendum campaign".

"I think it is possible that some of the indignation is a touch overdone", he says.

Mr Green says that the vote leave campaign have a "completely nonsensical strategy". 

Damian Green
BBC

Government 'loading the dice' on EU referendum

EU referendum leaflets statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Cheryl Gillan, who supports leaving the EU, says "I'm afraid people will see this as double standards". 

The MP for Chesham and Amersham says that in the Welsh referendum on further powers, the government remained "strictly neutral" so that people would trust the result of the vote.

"This is a matter of trust and how are the people going to trust the government now when the government are so obviously trying to load the dice?" she asks.

Minister Lidington replies that unlike the Welsh referendum, the government is not neutral in the EU referendum, as the official government position is to support remaining in the EU. 

EU leaflets 'should reflect both sides'

From the BBC News website

EU leaflet
PA

Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox has written to David Cameron demanding both sides of the EU referendum debate be reflected in the government's controversial £9.3m campaign leaflets.

Mr Fox urged the PM to "correct the imbalance" to include EU Out campaigners' views.

Meanwhile Conservative backbenchers plan to use a vote on the Budget to challenge the leaflet expenditure.

The PM says voters should know the government's case for EU membership.

Read more.