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House of Commons debates

Tuesday, 6 April 1976

  • Preamble

    The House met at half-past Two o'clock

  • Prayers

    [Mr. SPEAKER in the Chair]

  • Death of a Member

    1 speech

    I regret to have to inform the House of the death of the right hon. Brian Kevin O'Malley, Member for Rotherham, and I desire on behalf of the House to express our sense of the loss we have...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Defence

    • Expenditure

      8 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received from trade unions on his cuts in defence expenditure.

    • Armed Forces (Deployment)

      8 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Defence what uncommitted forces are available for unforeseen circumstances outside the NATO area.

      Royal Naval Social Service

      6 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the new social service organisation in the Royal Navy to be fully functioning.

      Air Crew Officers (Pay)

      4 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Defence what action he proposes to take in view of the fact that certain officers of specialist air crews promoted to squadron leader rank are currently being...

      Jaguar/Harrier Replacements

      4 speeches

      Mr. Alan Lee Williams: asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the timetable for a decision on a Jaguar/ Harrier replacement for the RAF.

      South Africa (Defence Minister)

      10 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he proposes to meet the South African Minister of Defence.

      Multi-Rôle Combat Aircraft

      14 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Defence if in the light of his recent White Paper he will make a further statement on his decision to proceed with the production of 385 multi-rôle combat...

      Amphibious Forces

      11 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future of British amphibious forces in the light of the Government's White Paper on Defence Estimates.

      Scottish Banknotes

      7 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will ensure that cashiers overseas will accept Scottish banknotes.

      Submarine Detection

      6 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Defence what steps are being taken to improve the detection from the air of submarines in view of the growth in numbers of such vessels.

      Research and Development Establishments

      10 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Defence what are the consequences for civilian employment of the rationalisation of defence research and development establishments.

      Wellington Barracks

      6 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Defence what progress is being made with the rebuilding of Wellington Barracks; when he expects these barracks to be once again available to accommodate troops of...

      Land (Nugent Report)

      4 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Defence what progress he has made in implementing the recommendations of the Nugent Committee on Defence Lands.

      Shackleton Aircraft

      9 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he remains satisfied with progress towards the replacement of Shackleton aircraft in the airborne early warning rôle.

      Royal Air Force (Capability)

      10 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Defence what effect the recently announced reductions in defence expenditure in 1977 to 1980 will have on the front-line capability of the Royal Air Force.

      North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

      22 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he is satisfied with current arrangements for consultations with NATO officials.

      Army Reservists (Military Exercises)

      6 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set up a compulsory insurance scheme for part-time soldiers on military exercises.

      Vosper Thornycroft (Contracts)

      4 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Defence what contracts have been awarded in the past 12 months by his Department to Vosper Thornycroft; and what assurances he can give as to the future...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — National Economic Development Council

    16 speeches

    asked the Prime Minister when he next plans to attend a meeting of NEDO.

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Secretary of State for Energy (Speech)

    21 speeches

    asked the Prime Minister if the public statement on economic policy and other matters, made in London on 17th March by the Secretary of State for Energy, represents the policy of Her Majesty's...

  • Bill Presented

    • Electricity (Financial Provisions) (Scotland)

      Mr. Secretary Ross, Supported by Mr. Bruce Millan and Mr. Robert Sheldon presented a Bill to increase the statutory limits on the amounts outstanding in respect of borrowings by the Scottish...


    1 speech

    In order to save the time of the House, unless there is objection I propose to put the Question on the two motions relating to Statutory Instruments together.

  • 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 past years, copies of the Budget...

  • Introduction

    1 speech

    3.36 p.m.

  • Economic Review

    • The World Economy

      When I presented my last Budget, the world economy was in the trough of the deepest recession since the war. In the first half of last year the gross national product of the eight largest OECD...

    • The domestic economy: output and employment

      In the United Kingdom we have inevitably shared in the world recession. The main fall in activity came between the third quarters of 1974 and 1975, when our gross domestic product fell about...

      The balance of payments and external financing

      I turn now to the balance of payments. I predicted a year ago that the current account would improve by at least £1 billion between 1974 and 1975. In the event, it improved by nearly £2...

      The public sector borrowing requirement

      The latest estimate of the PSBR as a whole is about £10¾ billion. Though this is more than the forecast I published a year ago, it is significantly below what many commentators were...

      Monetary developments

      Despite the large borrowing requirement, the supply of money has been contained. Last year I said that it was essential that my strategy should not be undermined by a relation of our stance on...

      Pay and Prices

      The most encouraging developments of the last 12 months have been those on inflation. In my Budget speech last year I made it clear that I saw success in reducing the rate of inflation, and the...

  • Analysis and Strategy

    Our recent achievements have been encouraging and there is every reason to believe that we can make further substantial progress in the coming year. But this Budget must also grapple with the...

  • Industrial Policies

    I start with some proposals which are intended to help in improving the efficiency of our manufacturing industry and its ability to meet the coming upturn in demand.

    • Stock Relief

      The special tax relief for increases in stocks which I introduced in November 1974 has been of great benefit to industry. However, some business men believe that the temporary nature of the...

    • Depreciation

      The Sandilands Committee on Inflation Accounting strongly recommended that the present system of 100 per cent. capital allowances should be continued and suggested that the commitment to the...

      Corporation Tax

      The continuation of stock relief and the present system of capital allowances means that substantially the whole of any profits which a manufacturing company reinvests in its business, whether in...

      Finance for investment

      I now turn to the question of company finance. Although the financial position of companies has greatly improved in the last 12 months, I am concerned that, as world trade expands and new trading...

      Selective support for investment

      In the meantime, we are pressing ahead with specific programmes for improving our industrial base under Section 8 of the Industry Act. A total of £285 million has so far been allocated for...

      Price Code

      I recognise that decisions on the future of price control will also be of crucial importance to business confidence and investment. As the House knows, the present Price Code expires at the end...

      Manpower Policies

      The measures which I have announced so far are intended to give companies the confidence to invest and to ensure that the necessary finance is available. A greater volume of industrial...

      Taxation of motoring

      I now turn to tax instruments which affect particular sectors of industry, beginning with the taxation of motoring. One way in which the Government must demonstrate the priority they give to...

      VAT higher rate

      I turn now to value added tax. In my Budget last year I extended the 25 per cent. higher rate, which already applied to petrol, to a wider range of goods, including items such as domestic...

      Taxation of Petrol

      The higher rate of VAT applies to petrol, and if I did not take offsetting action on petrol duty the reduction to 12½ per cent. would reduce the price of petrol to the motorist. At a time...

  • Miscellaneous Tax Changes

    • Other indirect tax changes

      Increases in other indirect taxes would add to the Retail Price Index and I have been tempted to conclude that I should take no such action in a year when the fight against inflation is so...

    • Avoidance and Evasion

      Nothing is more offensive to the vast majority of men and women who pay their income tax automatically through PAYE than the knowledge that a small minority have scope for evading and avoiding...

      Leasing Partnerships

      The Finance Bill will also contain measures to deal with an avoidance scheme by which wealthy individuals have been able, by contrived arrangements, to use the 100 per cent. first year allowance...

      Fringe Benefits

      I undertook last year to review the legislation on fringe benefits, following the start we made in last year's Finance Act with the legislation on medical insurance and vouchers.

      Administration of the tax system

      I will now mention three minor tax measures, the first two of which will make very necessary savings in Revenue staff.

      Capital transfer tax

      The capital transfer tax was introduced in order to reduce the weight of inherited wealth and the unfair power which this gives to a minority of the population. This had been the main purpose of...

      Capital gains tax

      In my Budget Statement last year I said that I was not persuaded that it would be right to introduce indexation for capital gains tax but that I proposed to review the incidence of the tax in the...

      Exchange losses

      Finally, I should mention that I have received many representations that the extra cost to companies of repaying foreign currency loans when sterling has fallen in value should rank for tax...

  • Public Expenditure

    Before turning to certain improvements in social security, I must say a word about public expenditure in general. I have referred already to the need to get a better balance in the economy and to...

    • Pensions uprating

      As we made clear last year, we propose to return to the annual cycle of upratings now that inflation is being brought under control. We shall therefore raise social security benefits in November....

    • Family Income Supplement

      As regards support for families, we shall also make a substantial increase in July in the limits up to which families can claim family income supplement. The limits for a one-child family will go...

  • Incomes Policy and Direct Taxes

    I now turn to my proposals for carrying forward our attack on inflation and for encouraging the greatest possible reduction in the growth of wage costs. I hope to achieve this through relating...

  • Conclusion

    1 speech

    These then are my proposals. This is an almost neutral Budget. I have said all along that we cannot base expansion on a general reflation of domestic demand. The unconditional part of my Budget...

  • Provisional Collection of Taxes

    2 speeches

    Motion made, and Question, That pursuant to section 5 of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act 1968 provisional statutory effect shall be given to the following Motions— (a) spirits...

  • Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation

  • Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation

    • Amendment of the Law

      The House resumed the postponed Proceeding on the Question, That it is expedient to amend the law with respect to the National Debt and the public revenue and to make further provision in...

  • Business of the House

    Ordered, That the Motion relating to Pensions may be proceeded with at this day's Sitting, though opposed, until half-past Eleven o'clock.—[Mr. Bates.]

  • Pension Schemes

    4 speeches

    10.1 p.m.

    • Adjournment

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

  • West Midlands (Industry)

    4 speeches

    11.5 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.

April 1976
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