House of Commons debates

Tuesday, 29 March 1977

  • Preamble

    The House met at half-past Two o'clock

  • Prayers

    [Mr. SPEAKER in the Chair]

  • Private Business

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Employment

    • Women

      8 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Employment what proposals he has to reduce unemployment among women.

    • Coal, Petroleum and Chemical Industries

      4 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Employment to what extent the labour force in the coal, petroleum and chemical industries has increased or decreased during the last 10 years.

      Job Creation Programme

      10 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Employment what further measures are proposed as a part of the Job Creation Programme.

      Railways (Closed Shop)

      9 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Employment what discussions he has had with the British Railways Board about the operation of the closed shop.

      Disabled Persons

      12 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he has proposals to improve the employment prospects of those who are suffering from mental or physical disability.


      4 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the number of men and women unemployed in travel-to-work areas in Calderdale, expressed in numerical and percentage terms and compared with the...

      Collective Bargaining (Disclosure of Information)

      8 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Employment when he proposes to implement the provisions of the Employment Protection Act concerning disclosure of information to trade unions during the course of...

      Mexborough and Wombwell

      4 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many men, women, boys and girls, respectively, were registered as unemployed at the Mexborough and Wombwell employment exchanges at the latest...


      6 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will initiate studies into the human diseconomies of very large factories.

      Unemployed Persons

      16 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the latest total number of unemployed; and how this compares with February and October 1974.

      Employment Protection Act

      10 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether the Employment Protection Act is achieving the objectives outlined by the Government.

      School Leavers and Graduates

      8 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Employment what assessment he has made of the likely shortfall of jobs for school leavers and graduates at the end of the current academic year.


      8 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he is taking to reduce unemployment in Wales.


      4 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will take urgent action to offset the decline of jobs in manufacturing industry in the Greater Manchester area by the allocation of a higher...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister (Engagements)

    21 speeches

    asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 29th March.

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Concorde

    6 speeches

    asked the Prime Minister when he next plans to fly in Concorde.

  • Oral Answers to Questions — TUC

    14 speeches

    Mr. Ioan: Evans asked the Prime Minister when he last met the TUC.

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Regional Affairs

    Ordered,That the matter of the Health Service in the North West be referred to the Standing Committee on Regional Affairs.—[Mr. Foot.]


    1 speech

    In order to save the time of the House I propose to put the Questions on the Statutory Instruments together. I understand that the second item on the Order Paper—concerning the...

  • 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

      3.33 p.m.

      The Economic Background

      The United Kingdom is a trading nation. This means we cannot sustain our economic recovery without a major improvement in our trade performance so that we win and hold a larger share of both home...

  • The World Economy

    The industrialised countries as a whole achieved a relatively rapid recovery in output and trade at the beginning of 1976, but this fell off through the rest of the year. Over the year as a whole...

  • The Domestic Economy

    During the last 12 months production has made a modest recovery from the recession of 1975. But the economy is still working well below its productive capacity, industrial investment is rising...

  • Medium-Term Prospects

    I turn now to our prospects in the medium term. The immediate situation provides a solid foundation on which we can build a return to full employment and a steadily improving standard of life....

  • Balance of Payments

    First, let me deal with our trading performance. We must not only eliminate our balance of payments deficit but earn substantial surpluses, so that we can start repaying our accumulated...

  • North Sea Oil

    The growing output of North Sea oil will not be sufficient to achieve this. The return to full employment must depend primarily on increasing our industrial investment and our net exports of...

  • Inflation

    The necessary improvement in our trading performance depends in turn on a second improvement in our economic behaviour. We must bring down our rate of inflation so that of our principal trading...

  • Industrial Performance

    It is as necessary, then, to improve our inflation rate as our trading performance, and pay policy is the key. But in the medium term we shall not achieve the necessary improvement in either our...

  • The World Economy

    Other countries have found difficulty, like ourselves, in achieving all their various economic objectives at the same time. At the moment, a significant improvement is also required in the...

  • The Scope for Fiscal Action

    This is the background against which I face my main task in this Budget—to consolidate the gains we have made so far and to create the conditions in which we can get our rate of inflation...

  • Monetary Policy

    A fiscal stimulus of this size will be fully consistent with maintaining the improvement in financial markets. In order to keep firm control of any inflationary pressures, I intend that domestic...

  • Public Expenditure

    The Government's expenditure plans for the next two years were set out in the first volume of the White Paper issued in January. We shall stick firmly to these plans, making full use of the new...

  • Employment Measures

    The Government believe that it is essential to make room within the totals already published for further measures to relieve unemployment. The measures that we have already adopted have received...

  • Inner Cities — Construction

    Within the general problem of unemployment, the construction industry has suffered particularly hard. Although the prospective upturn in industrial investment and a probable fall in mortgage...

  • Indirect Tax Changes

    I come now to my proposals in the field of taxation. First, indirect taxation. I have said on several occasions that it is desirable to readjust the balance between direct and indirect taxation....

  • Petrol/derv duty

    The taxation of road fuel was not affected by my December measures and the total effect on the private motorist of the changes in my Budget last spring amounted to no more than about 1p a gallon....

  • Heavy Oil Duty

    Road fuel is not, of course, the only oil which is subject to duty. The duty on most other oil products, for example heavy fuel oil, reached its present level of 1p a gallon as far back as 1969....

  • Vehicle Excise Duty

    Vehicle excise duty on cars has remained unchanged at £40 a year since April 1975 and its value in real terms has fallen appreciably since then. An increase of £15 would be required to...

  • Tobacco Duty

    There are compelling health arguments for increasing the duty on tobacco in real terms. Besides consolidating the increases on tobacco and tobacco products announced last December, I therefore...

  • Value Added Tax

    I come now to my proposal for value added tax. It is—in spite of the recommendations of a Task Force which I read about yesterday—to make no change.

  • Effects of indirect tax increases

    Thus, the only increases which I propose in indirect taxes are those justified by considerations of health, of energy or transport policy. These increases will produce extra revenue, including...

  • National Insurance Surcharge

    I turn now to a matter which has attracted a good deal of interest on both sides of the House. This concerns the new National Insurance surcharge which, as I announced last July, will take effect...

  • Direct Tax Changes

    I turn now to direct tax changes. I am proposing no change in the rates of corporation tax. Stability in company taxation is an important part of the industrial strategy, as I pointed out last...

  • Stock Relief

    In my Budget Statement last year I said that the interim scheme of stock relief would continue for two more years. I then thought that this would give sufficient time to devise a permanent scheme...

  • Capital Gains

    I come now to proposals for improving the taxation of capital gains. These take account of recommendations made by a joint working party of the Inland Revenue and representative bodies, for whose...

  • Avoidance

    I intend to take further action to deal with tax avoidance. It is intolerable that when the overwhelming majority of men and women pay their taxes honestly, a small number of wealthy corporations...

  • Oil

    I have also asked my officials to begin urgent consultations with the companies concerned about the possibility of legislating in the Finance Bill to restrict unilateral relief for certain taxes...

  • Foreign Currency Borrowings

    In my Budget speech last year, I referred to the question of tax relief for the extra cost to companies of repaying foreign currency loans where sterling has fallen in value. I have now...

  • Foreign Earnings

    I said last December that I believed it important to find ways of improving the tax treatment of employees living in this country and working abroad, particularly those at the sharp end of...

  • Retirement Annuities — Ceiling for Relief

    Finally, I propose to increase again this year the limits on the annual amounts within which self-employed people may claim tax relief on premiums paid for an annuity on retirement. Although...

  • Revenue Effects

    Details of the effects of these changes of the yield of the revenue, and of certain other minor tax changes, are given in Table 16 of the Financial Statement and Budget Report.

  • Pay and Tax

    I now come to the heart of my Budget—the reductions in income tax and their relevance for pay policy. Given the size of the fiscal stimulus I consider justified and the net revenue...

  • Personal Allowances

    The various personal allowances reduce the burden of income tax at all levels but give special help to the very poor by relieving them altogether of all liability to pay income tax. I therefore...

  • Proposals for a reduced rate band

    I turn now to the question of a reduced rate of tax for the initial band of taxable income. I have been urged from several quarters to move in this direction. There is much to be said for this in...

  • Investment income surcharge

    I am, however, particularly concerned about elderly people who now find themselves liable to the surcharge on their income from savings which are quite modest in modern terms. I propose...

  • Extending the basic rate band

    Before turning to higher rates of income tax, I must deal with the problem which arises at the upper end of the basic rate band. If I took no action this year, people earning less than one and a...

  • Further possible reductions

    1 speech

    To make this sum up to the £2¼ billion of reductions in income tax which I said we could afford if we can be assured of a continuing fall in our inflation rate, I would propose to...

  • Provisional Collection of Taxes

    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

    • Amendment of the Law

      13 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 (a)...


    1 speech

    Read a Second time.


    1 speech

    Read a Second time.

  • Select Committee on Overseas Development

    Ordered,That the Standing Order of 22nd November 1974 relating to the nomination of the Select Committee on Overseas Development be amended, by leaving out Mr. Lewis Carter-Jones and inserting...


    49 speeches

    Order for Second Reading read.

  • Petition

    • Stockwell College

      1 speech

      I beg to ask leave to present a petition on behalf of Stockwell College of Education, Bromley. The prayer of the petition is as follows: To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of...

  • Stockwell College (Teacher Training)

    2 speeches

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

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 1977
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