New Clause. — (Repeal of s. 36 of 8 and 9 Geo. V, c. 15.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Finance Bill. – in the House of Commons on 8th July 1924.

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Photo of Commander Charles Burney Commander Charles Burney , Uxbridge

I agree with the hon. Member who has just spoken in regard to the difference between Income Tax and Super-tax, but it makes very little difference because Income Tax and Super-tax are graded from 4s. 6d. in the£right up to 11s in the £ There is one point the right hon. Gentleman did not deal with at all. Super-tax is paid not in the year in which the income is received, but in the year following. It should be deducted in the year in which it is due, because the fact that it is paid a year later presupposes that there is a stable price level. During the slump in 1920 many individuals and firms earned very large incomes and were assessed to Super-tax a year later, and they had to pay on an altogether different price level from that at which they received their money. In some cases they paid perhaps not 6s. in the£Super-tax, but probably 12s., because between 1920 and 1922 the price level varied from about 330 to 180. That seems to me to raise the whole question of the Budget. We have had no statement whatever as to what is the monetary policy of the Government, and whether they are going to maintain the price level at any given figure. Therefore the Clause has to be viewed not only from the technical point of view, to which the Chancellor very cleverly tried to turn the Committee's attention, but one has to consider it in regard to the whole monetary policy of the Government. It is impossible for any person to deal with any of these Amendments unless they know what is the fundamental basis of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Budget, and what is the condition precedent to an estimate of any revenue. The whole question of an estimate of revenue must necessarily be based upon the price level in the country. That brings into question what is the attitude of the Government in regard to its monetary policy.