Profit-sharing Schemes

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd November 1954.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Donald Wade Mr Donald Wade , Huddersfield West 12:00 am, 23rd November 1954

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to encourage the adoption of co-partnership schemes by industrial firms.

Photo of Sir Raymond Gower Sir Raymond Gower , Barry

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps the Treasury will take to encourage firms seeking to introduce co-partnership, profit-sharing and similar schemes.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

The Government's policy on these matters was stated by my right hon. Friend the Minister of. Labour in reply to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Rutherglen (Mr. Brooman-White) on 15th July last.

Photo of Mr Donald Wade Mr Donald Wade , Huddersfield West

If the right hon. Gentleman is not prepared to encourage the introduction of profit-sharing schemes by fiscal policy, can he give an assurance that firms willing and anxious to introduce either profit-sharing or ownership-sharing involving the transfer of shares to employees will not be deterred from doing so by the policy pursued by the Inland Revenue or by decisions of the Capital Issues Committee?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I am not sure that the hon. Gentleman has got the situation quite clear. First, we encourage and like to see firms engaging in practices of this sort. Secondly, there is surprisingly little scope for the Government to encourage profit-sharing and co-partnership by way of fiscal relief, for this reason, which I think the House would like to know: the employer's contribution counts as a business expense, so there is no taxation to relieve. It is important to get that clear in order to see that the Inland Revenue is not being quite so unfriendly as the hon. Member may have imagined.

Photo of Sir Raymond Gower Sir Raymond Gower , Barry

Am I right in supposing that my right hon. Friend at present has no power to collect information about schemes of this kind? In view of the recent promising and encouraging extension of profit-sharing and co-partnership, and even of pension schemes, would it not be desirable for my right hon. Friend to seek these powers at the first convenient opportunity? Would they not be of interest and value to him?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I am not quite clear what sort of powers my hon. Friend has in mind. Certainly the more interest I can take in this subject, and the more information I can acquire, the happier I shall be.