Clause 1. — ;(Charge of Income Tax for 1955–56 and Surtax Rates for 1954–55.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th April 1955.

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Photo of Mr Samuel Silverman Mr Samuel Silverman , Nelson and Colne 12:00 am, 27th April 1955

I have almost finished my point, and I am quite prepared to leave it at that. I only wish to show why, in my opinion, this would have been a very much better way of using money at the Chancellor's disposal, first, because it would have benefited industry substantially, and, secondly, it would have been less inequitable.

The Purchase Tax has long since ceased to be a tax which prevents people from consuming and has become a revenue tax. In so far as we rely on the Purchase Tax for revenue, we rely upon it to increase consumption and not to reduce it. Therefore, since it is now purely a revenue tax, the Chancellor could easily have remitted that revenue and could have obtained it by better distribution of Income Tax reliefs. The result would have been beneficial all round, because by reducing the cost in that way, by cutting out a revenue tax, he would be reducing inflation and not increasing it.

I say that the more this proposal is examined the more clear does it become that the Government have deliberately used surplus resources at their disposal in an anti-social way, in ways that give benefit to the wrong people, and at the expense of those real reliefs in the economic situation, particularly in Lancashire, that were readily available to him.