Revenue in 1943–44

Financial Statement – in the House of Commons on 25th April 1944.

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On the Revenue side, the actual receipts from Income Tax at £1,184,000,000 were £9,000,000 more than the estimate; while Excess Profits Tax realised precisely the estimate of £500,000,000. The estimate for all the Inland Revenue duties together was £1,873,,000,000 and the actual receipts were £1,878,000,000, a difference of only £5,000,000. In the field of Customs and Excise, however, there was a substantial divergence from the Budget expectations, the actual total receipts showing a surplus of £67,500,000 over the estimate of £975,500,000. Two main factors explain that divergence. First, in the face of the additions made a year ago to the already heavy taxation of beer and tobacco, the consumption of both commodities has shown a remarkable and unexpected resilience, particularly in the case of beer, which yielded a surplus of no less than £18,000,000 over the estimate. The second factor is that the produce of the oil duties is very largely conditioned by the rate of consumption by the Armed Forces and that is, naturally, very difficult to estimate in advance. These duties have brought nearly £24,000,000 more than the estimate.

In the case of the Purchase Tax, which has hitherto been a very difficult item to forecast, the estimate of £90,000,000 was exceeded by less than 2 per cent. There were, also, small surpluses under most of the other principal heads of Customs and Excise.

Miscellaneous revenue, as in previous years, is higher than the Budget estimate, because that estimate included, as I have already mentioned, the contributions and premiums under the War Damage Act.

The total revenue amounted to £3,039,000,000, which was £131,000,000 over the Budget estimate, and the excess of expenditure over revenue was £2,760,000,000 or £89,000,000 less than the Budget estimate—a deficit of £89,000,000 less than the Budget estimate.