Surtax

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th February 1961.

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Photo of Mr Philip Holland Mr Philip Holland , Acton 12:00 am, 9th February 1961

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the loss in revenue if all rates of Surtax were halved.

Photo of Sir Edward Boyle Sir Edward Boyle , Birmingham Handsworth

On the basis of last year's Budget estimate £95 million.

Photo of Mr Philip Holland Mr Philip Holland , Acton

Without prejudice to anything which may or may not appear in the Budget statement of my right hon. and learned Friend, may I ask my hon. Friend whether he thinks that a reduction in this high level of Surtax might help to encourage the development of maximum efficiency in the sphere of technology and management?

Photo of Sir Edward Boyle Sir Edward Boyle , Birmingham Handsworth

I had better not say what I think on that subject at present.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make arrangements to ascertain how many underground workers in the mining industry pay Surtax.

Photo of Sir Edward Boyle Sir Edward Boyle , Birmingham Handsworth

I do not think that a special inquiry for this purpose would be justified.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

Why not? Should we not be armed with these figures in order to see how many of our constituents are likely to benefit if the rate of Surtax is reduced?

Photo of Sir Edward Boyle Sir Edward Boyle , Birmingham Handsworth

No, Sir. With respect, the hon. Gentleman is falling into the old Marxist fallacy that labour power is the sole source of value. We shall not earn our living in the world unless we not only extract things but manufacture and also sell them, and I think that a special inquiry of this kind would not be worth while.

Photo of Mr Edward Milne Mr Edward Milne , Blyth

When the right hon. and learned Gentleman is ascertaining these figures, will he bear in mind the contribution that the mining community makes to the nation, and see that there is an improvement in any position that he does discover?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Easington

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are his proposals for raising the starting point for the imposition of Surtax to £6,000.

Photo of Sir Edward Boyle Sir Edward Boyle , Birmingham Handsworth

I cannot express a view on this proposal before the Budget.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Easington

Does that mean that the hon. Gentleman is reluctant to agree with the proposal that has been made in this connection? Does he realise that his reply will come as a shock in certain quarters of the House, but that I would regard the reluctance of the Treasury to proceed in this undesirable direction as a unique example of its intelligence and commonsense?

Photo of Sir Edward Boyle Sir Edward Boyle , Birmingham Handsworth

That is very flattering, indeed, but, while we all respect the hon. Member for Bosworth (Mr. Wyatt), he is not Chancellor of the Exchequer.