Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th April 1970.

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Photo of Mr Jack Diamond Mr Jack Diamond , Gloucester 12:00 am, 20th April 1970

My hon. and learned Friend, who always makes interesting and valid comments, says that it was a pity that the right hon. Gentleman was not speaking to the nation. Indeed it was, because he could then have said, and it would have come in very well at the point when he was discussing the number of people who would be brought back into the tax net, "We will make slashing reductions of tax and the first thing we will do is to use the £30 million that the Chancellor would otherwise be using on taking people out of the tax net to put them back again. The first thing we will do as regards these 2 million is to see that about one-third of a million whom the Chancellor would have otherwise freed from tax will be pulled back into taxation at once."

If the right hon. Gentleman had been speaking to the nation and had made both comments, the comment about the £30 million and about the 2 million people, he would have had to explain that the arguments went in different directions and that he was proposing to deny to one-third of a million the freedom from tax which the Chancellor was seeking to give them.

We would all like to hear the proposals of the party opposite. They are gradually emerging, in stages. I will say what I think we now know they are, and I speak with some authority on this matter because, as opposed to the right hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Barber), who will no doubt quote from a series of election addresses—because that is what he always does; he has a stimulating imagination and he always finds it useful to refer to the 1964 addresses of a large number of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen—I shall pay the right hon. Member for Enfield, West the courtesy of quoting his next election address, of which I have been fortunate enough to find the first tentative draft.

I have it here with me. Unfortunately, the first page is blank, but no doubt that will be decorated by the usual handsome, attractive photograph of the ever-young candidate. If I may, I will read it out word for word, because it would be wrong to select: