Clause 20. — (AMENDMENT OF FINANCE ACT, 1946, s. 27.)
Orders of the Day — Finance Bill
Mr David Eccles (Chippenham)
I support what has been said by my hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton). As a result of this Clause, one of my men has to pay 1d. a week and another 2d. a week. Neither of them was in the Income Tax range before. It is a great bother to them and it is a great bother to me having to collect the 3d. each week and hand it to the tax collector. But that is not the point with which I wish to deal. I shall vote against this Clause for a rather different reason.
It no doubt would be right, sooner or later, to tidy up this matter of Income Tax on contributions and benefits, but is it right to do it at this moment? Here is the Chancellor, as the hon. Member for Luton (Mr. Warbey) properly said, gleefully telling us that he is going to get £10 million more. I agree that that was the way the right hon. and learned Gentleman spoke. It only proves how short of revenue he is. We are trying to keep incomes steady. There is a campaign which we all support to prevent further rises in industrial costs. The Government ought to take the greatest care at this time to do nothing which will in any way encourage demands for further rises in income. What is £10 million against the total of Government expenditure? All hon. Gentlemen opposite know that if their Government knew how to housekeep, and how to manage its own affairs, it could easily save £10 million. This is the sort of tax the Committee ought to vote against, because at this critical time we should be economising and not putting on new taxes.