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It is impossible to give a precise figure as no information is available about the incomes or personal allowances of blind people in employment but the cost would probably be between £500,000 and £1 million.
Is the Chancellor aware that in the evidence submitted to the Royal Commission it was suggested that between 5,000 and 6,000 people were involved? In view of the comparatively small cost, would he not look favourably on this recommendation as giving encouragement to these very courageous people who are trying to hold down normal jobs and are thereby incurring special expenditure?
I agree about the courage shown by many of these people who suffer from disability. But the Royal Commission's Report went rather further than blind people. It covers all disabled and it raises considerable difficulty, which again I think we shall probably be discussing later.
A married man with one child and an earned income of £600 in 1951 paid tax, at 1951– 52 rates of £54 5s. 0d. or approximately 9 per cent. of income. Assuming that his income increased at the same rate as the Consumer Price Index he would have earned about £710 in 1956, the tax on which would have been £43 2s. 6d. or 6 per cent. of gross income.
Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that the nominal reduction in the incidence of direct taxation is substantially greater than the real reduction, and that it is to some extent misleading when the Financial Secretary to the Treasury takes the nominal income in 1951 and the same nominal income today and judges the incidence of taxation in that way?