Part Ii Persons Born in or Before 1915

Part of Orders of the Day — FINANCE (No. 2) BILL – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th July 1956.

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Photo of Mr Gilbert Mitchison Mr Gilbert Mitchison , Kettering 12:00 am, 10th July 1956

I am obliged, Mr. Hynd; I hoped that that was the position. All I was doing was partly to safeguard the position as regards the future Amendments and partly to point out to the Financial Secretary, who must be weary with obstruse mathematics, that if he wanted to avoid a little simple arithmetic he would find the figures corresponding to £500 on the next two pages of the Notice Paper, although, of course, as Amendments I could not refer to them.

Those figures—I can, if necessary read them out as a matter of mathematics, but they are there on the Notice Paper—represent somewhat more reasonable sums. It is perhaps about as good an illustration as one can have of the difficulties into which the £750 limit gets us that when one comes to apply it on quite reasonable lines to the late entrants, one gets up to figures as high as those which appear at the bottom of the table at the end of Part II of the new Schedule.

When, in a year of financial crisis, notwithstanding the Premium Bonds, we are compelled to allow people to have special concessions in respect of tax up to amounts on either side of £ 1,000, we wonder whether we have not set the whole business rather too high. I make that comment accepting provisionally the fact that this appears to be an annually tapering provision. I should like to know whether I am right on this latter point.

There is one other question I want to ask, similar to the one I wanted to ask about Part I. Here again, this seems to me to differ from recommendations made on exactly the same point by the Millard Tucker Committee. They appear, I believe, in paragraph 400, in page 111, of the Millard Tucker Report. As the right hon.Gentleman has been good enough to say that he would answer questions, perhaps he will answer one rather general question.

It apparently required the assiduous efforts of the hon. Member for Carlton (Mr. Pickthorn) to induce the Government to take account of these cases, but I feel certain that the Government did not stop reading the Millard Tucker Report at any point. It is not very long and they must have read it all through. Why did they leave the hon. Member for Carlton to remind them about these types of case, and why did they not follow up the Millard Tucker Committee when they came to deal with them? I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will answer these matters while the opportunity is still ready and ripe for him. He is to get more of them presently.