Income tax is an annual tax which requires a new Finance Act every year. Opposition parties in Parliament usually vote against the Finance Act, but the Government always wins by virtue of its overall majority. Since the Finance Act is a money bill, it then goes straight for Royal Assent, bypassing the House of Lords.
At the same time, Parliament has to pass a Mutiny Act every year, which makes it an offence for soldiers, sailors and airmen to be insubordinate in combination with each other. A common reason for a mutiny is not being paid, but then with the Finance Act, the Government is able to raise the cash to do it.
It looks as if we may have a situation after the General Election where the only viable combination of parties in a coalition government is between Conservative and Labour, something last seen in 1931 and 1940. It is more likely that we will have the Plurality Leader (the leader of the largest party) forming the Government, but the main opposition party will refrain from voting against the Finance Act and the Mutiny Act (which it could challenge) in order to keep the country governable. It is fascinating to see the British Constitution up against the stops.
David Porthouse & Co is a firm of accountants based in Carlisle in North West England. We have a keen interest in new technology with the aim of speeding up accounts production and making accountancy more affordable for our clients.