Mark Hoban (Conservative), Fareham

Mark Hoban is a chartered accountant and worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers and its predecessor firms between 1985 and 2001. He was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Fareham in June 2001. He was re-elected with an increased majority in 2005. He was appointed the Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury in December 2005. Between November 2003 and December 2005 he was Shadow Minister for Schools. Prior to November 2003, he was an Opposition Whip. He was a member of the Select Committee on Science and Technology between 2001 and 2003. In response to our questions, he answered:
 
Q: What will your party’s top priorities be should you gain power (including within a coalition)?
Our first priority is to get Britain's economy back on the right track by building a new economic model. We will act early to cut the defecit so that interest rates remain as low as possible. This will keep interest rates low for businesses and help keep mortgage payments down. We will also get the economy going by improving competitiveness and encouraging a more diversified economy. It is clear that Labour’s jobs tax will kill the recovery. Putting up National Insurance will cost 57,000 jobs in small firms alone, according to leading business experts, so we will cut Labour’s waste to stop it.
 
Q: What are the most pressing tax issues?
We want a much more competitive tax system - one which will make the UK a good place for business. This has two strands. The first is to tackle the tax burden faced by business. This is why we will reverse most damaging impact of Labour's jobs tax and cut the headline rate of corporation tax for large businesses and SME's. But we know that a competitive tax system also needs to be predictable, stable and certain. That is why we are committed to publish technical changes to tax law no later than the PBR so that industry and others can scrutinise any changes. We will also set up an independant Office for Tax Simplification which will look at tax law and make it more straightforward and clearer. We believe that by improving tax policy making, we can make Britain a more competitive location for business.
 
Q: As an accountant, what influence does your professional training have on your political activity?
My training as an accountant and my work at PwC has made a huge contribution to my effectiveness as an MP and member of the Conservatives' Treasury team. Let me give a couple of examples. I can look at tax policy from a business perspective and understand the challenges businesses would face in implementation. I can also see how private sector techniques could be applied to cutting wasteful public spending without damaging front line public services. The Government's record on cutting waste is poor. The NAO found that only a quarter of the claimed efficiency savings from their last efficiency drive were actually implemented. I know from my own experience that businesses that fail to implement cost savings struggle. The failure to make savings holds them back. If we act now to implement cost savings, then we can cut the government deficit, help keep mortgage rates low and get the economy moving.
 
 

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A place for AccountingWEB to air their political views during the election campaign