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Stock Appreciation

Part of Orders of the Day — FINANCE (No. 2) BILL – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th July 1975.

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Photo of Mr Peter Hordern Mr Peter Hordern , Horsham and Crawley 12:00 am, 16th July 1975

I thought the Chief Secretary's reply was very disappointing. I and my hon. Friends who intervened have pressed him for the date of the Government's announcement. All he has said is that the report is to be produced for the Budget next year. I do not know whether there is to be an earlier Budget, in November, but if we are to wait until next April, that is an exceedingly long time, far too long for companies to wait for the Government's announcement. Here funds are to be frozen in a tax equalisation account, and no one will know whether all of them, or what part of them will be available or for what purpose in succeeding years. This is an intolerable position.

As I tried to point out to the House earlier and as my hon. Friend the Member for Guildford (Mr. Howell) has said, there is an enormous strain on the companies sector at the moment which is being exacerbated the whole time by the increase in public expenditure. Goodness knows, we have doubts enough about the reality of the Government's own estimates on the future growth of public expenditure, and those doubts have been confirmed by the Supplementary Estimates which appeared only a few days ago for a further £2,000 million. We are increasingly in doubt about the growing size of the borrowing requirement. Therefore, every penny that companies are able to save in stock appreciation relief measures is absolutely essential.