House of Commons debates

Tuesday, 6 March 1973

  • Preamble

    The House met at half-past Two o'clock

  • Prayers

    [Mr. SPEAKER in the Chair]

  • Private Business

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Social Services

    • In-Patient Costs

      6 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the average cost per patient in intensive care units, surgical departments of hospitals, acute departments in large general hospitals,...

    • Social Workers (Training)

      8 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what guidance his Department has given about the training of social workers.

      Community and Cottage Hospitals

      9 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects to be able to publish the results of his study on the future rôle of community hospitals.

      Retirement Pensions

      6 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, taking the retirement pension for single and married persons as 100 at the date of the last increase, what are the values at the latest available...

      Disabled Persons' Vehicles

      10 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will replace existing three-wheeled disabled vehicles with passenger-carrying four-wheeled vehicles, in view of further representations made...

      Hospital Developments (Blyth)

      6 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on his Department's talks and discussions with Northumberland County Council, Blyth Borough Council and the various...

      Industrial Disputes (Benefit)

      10 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the progress of his investigation into the payment of supplementary benefit in industrial disputes, indicating when...


      11 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has completed his study of the extent to which retirement pensioners are dying from hypothermia in consequence of insufficient food and...

      Local Authority Social Services

      8 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, in his actions designed to promote rate restraint, he will bear in mind the need to preserve the work of local authority social services...

      Secure Accommodation (Convicted Girls)

      10 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress local authorities have made with the provision of secure accommodation for girls convicted of offences.

      Private Hospital (Manchester)

      6 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what proposals have been made for the building of a private hospital in Victoria Park, Manchester; and if he has examined the likely effect on...

      Hearing Aids

      8 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress is being made in research with the development of hearing aids.

      Disabled Children (Financial Assistance)

      8 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will make a further statement as to the progress being made by the Rowntree Trust in distributing the £3 million provided starving...

      Pensioners (Expenditure)

      8 speeches

      Mr. R. C. Mitchell: asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what proportion of the average pensioner's income is spent on food and heating at the last convenient date.

      Departmental Employees (Wage Levels)

      6 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many civil servants within his Department are in receipt of basic wages of less than £25 a week.

      Strikers (Payment)

      6 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will consider legislation whereby payments made to strikers should in the first instance be payable from union founds.

      Local Offices

      4 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will ensure that the views of local authorities and communities are sought and considered before any arrangements are made to close local...

      Emergency Dental Service

      8 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will set up an emergency dental service in all major centres of population; and if he will make a statement.

      Disability Income

      9 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now publish a Green Paper on the proposal for a disability income.

      Industrial Relations

      12 speeches

      asked the Prime Minister whether the public speech of the Secretary of State for Employment on 16th February at Farnham on industrial relations represents Government policy.

      Economic Policy

      4 speeches

      asked the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library a copy of his public speech at Birmingham on 16th February on economic matters.

      European Economic Community

      4 speeches

      asked the Prime Minister if he will make arrangements to meet the Heads of Government of the other EEC countries to discuss future financial policy.

      Prime Minister (Engagements)

      5 speeches

      asked the Prime Minister if he will now answer Questions about his future engagements.


      4 speeches

      asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his visit to Germany.

      Bloxwich and Willenhall

      4 speeches

      asked the Prime Minister if he will pay an official visit to Bloxwich and Willenhall.

      Government Offices (Dispersal)

      6 speeches

      Mr. Edward Taylor: asked the Prime Minister if he has completed his consideration of the Hardman Report on the dispersal of Government offices; and if he will make a statement.

      Ministerial Broadcast

      6 speeches

      asked the Prime Minister if he will arrange for a copy of his ITV broadcast and interview on Thursday 22nd February on Government policies to be placed in the House of Commons Library.

      New Members

      The following Members took and subscribed the Oath:Giles Heneage Radice, esquire, for Chester-le-Street.George Machin, esquire, for Dundee, East.

  • Ways and Means

    • Budget Statement

      1 speech

      Before I call the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it may be for the convenience of hon. Members if I remind them, that at the end of the Chancellor's speech, as in the last five years, copies of the...

    • Introduction: Economic Strategy

      1 speech

      3.34 p.m.


      The primary objective of last year's Budget was to set our nation on a course of faster economic growth. I said then that the aim was that our national output should increase at an annual rate of...

      The Attack on Inflation

      I now come to my second main theme—the attack on inflation.

      Tax Reform

      Before I return to the immediate issues of economic management, it is right that I should make some general observations about our strategy for taxation and tax reform.

      External Developments

      I turn now to external developments.

  • The Economic Outlook

    • Balance of Payments

      I turn now to the outlook for the coming year, and first to the balance of payments. I should at the outset make it clear that last month's currency re-alignments should not have a significant...

    • Reserves

      I should also remind the House that despite the outflow in those few days last June, before it was decided to float the £, because we did not hesitate to act, our reserves are still more...

      The Domestic Economy

      I come now to the prospects for the domestic economy. As I said earlier—and I think this is generally accepted—the economy is now on a growth path of around 5 per cent. a year....

      Budget Judgment

      One of our major objectives must be to ensure that this rise in investment comes about and is maintained, because on this depends our prospect of achieving sustained growth at a high rate and...

  • Public Expenditure and Monetary Policy

    • Public Expenditure

      There has recently been much discussion about the trend of public expenditure. There are two aspects to be considered—the medium term and the short term.

    • Monetary Policy

      I turn now to recent monetary developments and to monetary policy. A year ago I warned the House that the high growth of output I intended to sustain would entail a growth of money supply which...

      Borrowing Requirements

      At the time of the Budget last year I expected the public sector borrowing requirement for 1972–73 to be £3,358 million. In the event it is probable that the figure will prove to be...

  • Government Finance and Savings

    • General

      I am therefore determined that a sustained effort shall be made in the coming year to sell Government securities to the non-bank domestic public. To do this, it will be essential that the terms...

    • Company Sector

      First, there are the industrial and commercial companies, whose liquidity next year will be considerable, partly because of the exceptional delay in the collection of taxes and partly because...

      Stock Issues

      Secondly, there are the big financial intermediaries through which much personal saving is channelled. I refer to the life insurance companies, and the pension and provident funds. These bodies...

      National Savings

      Next, there is the personal sector. The encouragement of personal saving in all its forms is a major objective of Government policy, and we have recognised this in the changes which we have...

      Share Savings Scheme

      National Savings are, however, only part of the picture. We also need, if we are to achieve sustained growth, to encourage more people to save and invest in British industry.

  • Estate Duty

    • Date of Valuation

      I turn now to taxation, and first to estate duty. Last year I made major changes which provided substantial relief from estate duty for bequests to widows and charities. They were widely welcomed.

    • National Heritage

      I should also mention one other change in estate duty which, although comparatively minor, is important to protect our national heritage. The Finance Act 1930 allows a wide range of objects of...

  • Company Taxation

    • Corporation Tax

      I now turn to corporation tax. The new system of corporation tax for which we legislated in last year's Finance Bill comes into effect next month—in April. As from then, the old system will...

    • Offshore Oil and Gas

      I come now to two further important changes concerning business taxation.

      Personal Direct Taxation

      Turning now to personal taxation, there is one particular matter on which I should briefly report to the House. This past year has seen the beginning of the end of post-war credits. Thanks to the...

      Land Hoarding Charge

      In the White Paper on the second stage of the counter-inflation policy (Cmnd. 5205) it was stated that the Government intended, before the next stage of the policy comes into operation, to bring...

      Rating Revaluation

      There is one further matter concerning land and housing. The Government are to take action to help those domestic ratepayers who face big increases in rates due to revaluation. Revaluation itself...

  • Indirect Taxation

    • VAT rate

      Next month purchase tax and SET will be abolished and be replaced by VAT. In last year's Finance Act, the standard rate of VAT was provisionally fixed at 10 per cent. The House will recall that...

    • Revenue Duties

      It is convenient next to deal with the revenue duties.

      Transitional Arrangements

      Last November I announced proposals for avoiding double taxation on goods which have been acquired before VAT comes into force on 1st April, but which are sold by a registered VAT trader after...

      Government Action on Prices and Publicity Campaign

      2 speeches

      This leads to the action we are taking to safeguard the consumer, first, by special powers in the Counter-Inflation Bill which is now before Parliament, and, second, by a major campaign of...

  • Charities (VAT and Covenants)

    • VAT and Charities

      As a result of consideration in the course of the year, there will be two changes concerning VAT and charities—one comparatively minor and the other of considerable importance to those...

    • Covenants

      There is one further matter concerning charities which it is convenient to deal with at this point. It arises as a result of the new system of unified income tax.

      Young Children's Footwear

      In the course of last year's debates, I promised to set up a Committee to consider the special problems of VAT and children's shoes. That committee, under the chairmanship of Mrs. Alison Munro,...

      Young Children's Clothing

      As far as VAT and young children's clothing is concerned, we went over this ground at great length during last year's debates, and I can sum up my decision by saying on Shrove Tuesday, the...

      Purchase Tax Food

      There is one other tax which falls heavily on families with children. It is a tax which started at a rate of 15 per cent., and was three times increased, in July 1966, in March 1968, and again in...


      To put the change in the system of indirect taxation into perspective, the phased changeover from purchase tax and SET to VAT will mean that, compared with the rates of purchase tax and SET in...

      Social Security Benefits

      I come now to pensions and social security benefits. First I should remind the House that the prescribed amounts for Family Income Supplement will be increased next month by sums varying from...


      But the old and the retired can be given a proper share of our rising national output only if others do not take more than their fair share.

      Royal Assent

      1 speech

      I have to notify the House, in accordance with the Royal Assent Act, 1967, that the Queen has signified Her Royal Assent to the following Acts: 1. Atomic Energy Authority (Weapons Group) Act,...

  • Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation

    • Amendment of the Law

      19 speeches

      Motion made, and Question proposed,That it is expedient to amend the law with respect to the National Debt and the public revenue and to make further provision in connection with finance; but...


    73 speeches

    Order for Second Reading read.

    • Adjournment

      Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—[Mr. Gray.]

  • Dangerous Substances (Carriage by Road)

    4 speeches

    10.9 p.m.

What is this?

Debates in the House of Commons are an opportunity for MPs from all parties to scrutinise government legislation and raise important local, national or topical issues.

And sometimes to shout at each other.

March 1973
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