Orders of the Day — Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th May 1966.

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Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher , Finchley 12:00 am, 5th May 1966

No. It was 18 months after the great financial crisis of 1951. Because we had a different philosophy and a different strategy from right hon. Gentlemen opposite, we were able to reduce taxation, quite the contrary trend to what the Chancellor is following at the moment. The hon. Member mentioned the cost of living. The year in which we had the largest rise in the cost of living was 1950–51, when it went up by nearly 13 per cent. I have quoted that figure many times from the Government Dispatch Box. It was given to me when I was a Junior Minister at the Ministry of Pensions, and so it is an official Government figure.

I believe that the whole strategy of this Budget is wrong and I think that it will finish up once again in high subsidies and even higher taxation. The Chancellor will never be able to do what Conservative Chancellors did—to reduce direct taxation. I think that the Budget is wrong and I have no hesitation in condemning it.