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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

It is extraordinary—and this applies to other forms of taxation, as well; but we are concentrating on stock appreciation. Of course, companies more and more regulate their activities by trying to save tax—and not at all in their own commercial interests—for themselves or their shareholders. That is going on the whole time.

If the new clause is not passed, companies which are unable to keep the relief will have difficulty in expanding when world trade expands. Companies will face difficulties as a result of the increase in public expenditure. Although the trade balance has improved as a result of the efforts of traders, companies will be prevented from expanding later. These are important considerations. However, I hope that the position will improve. Unless the Government announce further measures to reduce public expenditure before the end of the year, companies will not be able to expand.

We are all concerned about the size of of the borrowing requirement. There will be a revival of world trade about next April which will result in considerable competition for funds. That will affect the rate of interest and will result in a vast expansion of the money supply. The Government will cave in. More money will be produced. The Government will be concerned about unemployment. Forecasts suggest that unemployment might rise to between 1½ million and 2 million. In that case the Government will be faced with a difficult situation. As a result of the competition for resources there will be a further large expansion of the money supply, which will lead once more to another cycle of inflation in 18 months.