Salaries (Tax)

Oral Answers to Questions — Hong Kong – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15th November 1960.

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Photo of Mr George Thomson Mr George Thomson , Dundee East 12:00 am, 15th November 1960

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what plans there are to increase Government revenue in Hong Kong by means of a tax on salaries.

Photo of Mr Hugh Fraser Mr Hugh Fraser , Stafford and Stone

A tax is already levied on salaries.

Photo of Mr George Thomson Mr George Thomson , Dundee East

Can the hon. Gentleman say how he squares his last Answer with the fact that salary tax in Hong Kong has never risen to more than 12½ per cent. of salaries and is generally very much smaller than Income Tax in this country?

Photo of Mr Hugh Fraser Mr Hugh Fraser , Stafford and Stone

The main object, surely, is to see that the revenues of Hong Kong remain buoyant, and it is the intention of the Government to see that they remain buoyant, so that money can be found for these enormous services which have to be overcome. The hon. Gentleman is aware that between 1957 and this year actual Government expenditure and revenue will have risen from 509 million dollars to 668 million dollars.

Photo of Mr Gilbert Longden Mr Gilbert Longden , South West Hertfordshire

Does not my hon. Friend agree that Hong Kong is a shining example of self-help throughout the Commonwealth——

Photo of Mr Gilbert Longden Mr Gilbert Longden , South West Hertfordshire

—and is coping with enormous difficulties with tremendous courage and efficiency, almost wholly out of its own resources?

Photo of Mr Hugh Fraser Mr Hugh Fraser , Stafford and Stone

Yes. Sir; I agree with my hon. Friend.

Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan

Should not the revenues of Hong Kong also be brought into relation with the social and other needs of Hong Kong, which are dreadfully behind those in the Western world?

Photo of Mr Hugh Fraser Mr Hugh Fraser , Stafford and Stone

The hon. Gentleman is doubtless aware from the figures of what the Hong Kong Government are doing—building accommodation for 100,000 people a year, pushing forward with 215,000 and more new places in schools in the last five years, and providing hospital beds, which have risen from 7,000 and are expected to number 11,000 in the next few years.