Revenue

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

Alert me about debates like this

Towards that total, the various Inland Revenue duties are expected to provide £122,000,000 more than in 1943–44, and to rise, for the first time, to the notable total of £2,000,000,000. The increase is practically all attributable to the Income Tax, which is put at £1,300,000,000, an increase of £116,000,000 over the yield last year. The yield of Excess Profits Tax, after taking into account the effect of the changes which I have proposed with regard to standards, is estimated at £500,000,000, practically the same as the amount actually received from this source of revenue last year. The other Inland Revenue duties I put at approximately the same figures as last year.

As regards Customs and Excise, the supply of many dutiable articles continues to be controlled and restricted. This sets limits to the yields of the duties on these articles. I shall, however, be receiving a full year's yield from the Budget increases of 1943. But this year will see the departure overseas of large numbers of those who consume the principal dutiable commodities. When our Expeditionary Forces go overseas, the beer and spirits they drink, the tobacco they smoke, and the oil they use will become free of duty. Accordingly, it is necessary to discount the Customs and Excise estimates by making some allowance for this migration of consuming power. I would, however, warn anyone against wasting his time. That is what he would do if he attempted to deduce from these figures any estimate of the numbers likely to leave our shores. I have mentioned the matter only to explain why I am putting Customs and Excise estimates for 1944–45 at a lower figure than the actual receipts for 1943–44. The total estimate, taking into account all these factors and the minor adjustments which I mentioned earlier, is £1,038,000,000, which is £5,000,000 less than I received last year.

All other items of revenue, none of which calls for special comment, are ex- pected to yield £64,000,000, roughly the same as last year. The total revenue for the year will thus be £3,102,000,000, leaving an excess of expenditure over revenue of £2,835,000,000. The excess will have to be covered by borrowing. In accordance with recent custom, I shall ask the House to give a speedy passage to the National Loans Bill, which will give us the borrowing powers needed for 1944–45 and which will be in the same form as in recent years.