Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th March 1973.

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Photo of Mr John Pardoe Mr John Pardoe , North Cornwall 12:00 am, 12th March 1973

I suspected that the hon. Gentleman would quote figures on a percentage of gross product basis. Anyone who uses those figures can prove almost anything. The hon. Gentleman is not right in saying that I am inaccurate in my figures, because they come straight from the Red Books for the years I have quoted. I have no doubt that I can use a slide rule just as well as the hon. Gentleman can. If the lion. Gentleman wants to challenge those figures he can do his own calculations, but I guarantee that they are right. If he says that the figures given in the Red Books are wrong, that is another question. My point is that it is absolute nonsense for the Government to say that they have kept their promise and have decreased taxation. They do not have a very good record in this respect.

A question which is not dealt with in the Budget Statement and which is rarely raised in the House, strangely enough, is the whole question of party political finance. I should like the Chancellor to give some thought to this question. It is very difficult to deal with this matter in Committee. As I understand it, it will not be possible to table an amendment to the Finance Bill to take account of the problem. I attempted to do so last year but it was not found possible to do it.

I should like the Chancellor to give some thought to the reforms which have been introduced now, with the support of the President, for the next presidential election and which will help the American political parties to finance themselves out of tax revenue.