Part of Ways and Means – in the House of Commons at 5:11 pm on 15th March 1988.

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Mr. Deputy Speaker, in this Budget, I have reaffirmed the prudent polices which have brought us unprecedented economic strength. I have announced a radical reform of the taxation of marriage, which for the first time ever will give married women a fair deal from the tax system. I have eliminated the long-standing injustice of taxing inflationary gains, and abolished a fifth tax. I have radically reformed the structure of personal taxation, so that there is no rate anywhere in the system in excess of 40 per cent.
After an Autumn Statement which substantially increased public spending in priority areas, I have once again cut the basic rate of income tax, fulfilling our manifesto pledge of a basic rate of 25 pence in the pound and setting a new target of 20 pence in the pound.
And I have balanced the Budget.
I commend this Budget to the House.