If the right hon. Gentleman had cut the standard rate of income tax by 6d. in the £, we would have known what the effect would be; the hon. Gentleman can work it out for himself. The fact is that this paltry relief has come from a Chancellor of the Exchequer who, during his period of office, has increased taxation by an amount greater than any of his predecessors in history.
The right hon. Gentleman, so we are always told, considers his position in the history books. It is said that he is looking well ahead to the future. He has one claim to fame—the Chancellor who produced a bigger increase in taxation than any of his predecessors.
The sort of relief in this Budget is pitiful, coming on top of the biggest rise in the cost of living since the post-war Labour Government. We enjoyed the speech of the Financial Secretary on Wednesday, but I had to laugh when he said:
Of course, regard must be had to price increases, but regard must also be paid to increases in personal disposable income ".—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 15th April, 1970; Vol. 799, c. 1409.]
How right he was. Last year, wages went up by 7½ per cent. Prices took 5 per cent. of that. Taxes and contributions took a further 2 per cent. and the poor old consumer was left with less than½per cent. This is the reality of the situation.