Will my hon. Friend accept that it is ludicrous that some people who are receiving housing benefit are also paying tax? Will he further accept that many pensioners in receipt of housing benefit have had the purchasing value of their non-inflation proof occupational pensions reduced by 86 per cent. in the last 12 years? Is it not true that housing benefit is some small compensation for that section of the community?
With regard to the specific tax aspects of the question, my hon. Friend is right to say that the inability of Governments in the past properly to raise the tax threshold has created problems; and I know that he will welcome the Government's moves in the last few years to raise real thresholds by 20 per cent. He is also right to say that the prime victims, among the many victims of the evil of inflation, are those who are elderly and those who are seeking to live on the thrift that has produced a modest amount of capital for their old age. I know that he will join me in supporting the Chancellor to make sure that we eradicate inflation, which affects such people more than any other section of the community.