PRESS ASSOCIATION - The Government's Finance Bill which will enact many of the tax and spending measures announced in Chancellor George Osborne's Budget has cleared the Commons.
Treasury Exchequer Secretary David Gauke said the Bill would help ensure the stability of the financial sector, protect the most vulnerable in society from the worst effects of the downturn and would "make Britain a better place to do business and stimulate private sector growth".
Giving the Bill its third reading, MPs voted 285 to 225 in favour of the legislation, Government majority 60.
The legislation will now go to the Lords to be debated but because it is a money Bill it cannot be changed.
Mr Gauke said the Bill supported growth in the economy and would help provide businesses "with the most competitive tax system in the G20".
Paraphrasing the 80s female pop trio Bananarama during the Bill's third reading, Mr Gauke told MPs: "It ain't just what you do, it's the way that you do it." He added: "This Bill puts the right conditions in place to allow British business to flourish."
Shadow financial secretary Christopher Leslie, however, criticised the Bill, stating: "For all its detail and complexity, I'm afraid the Bill does represent a missed opportunity to tax the banks fairly and support job creation across the UK.
Those are omissions which make it a sub-standard and ill-judged piece of legislation."
Earlier, Mr Leslie said a tax of bankers' bonuses could be used to create more than 100,000 jobs and build 25,000 affordable homes, rescue construction apprenticeships and boost investment in businesses.
But the Treasury Financial Secretary Mark Hoban said the bank levy already ensured institutions paid their fair share of tax. He said Labour's suggested tax would "simply prompt the relocation of financial services and so fail to deliver the desired outcomes".