Amendment of the Law

Part of Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation – in the House of Commons at 6:54 pm on 10th March 1992.

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Photo of Mr Anthony Grant Mr Anthony Grant , Cambridge South West 6:54 pm, 10th March 1992

I assure the hon. Gentleman that I shall read the Red Book avidly. I have not yet read all of it, but I accept what he says. However, he has missed my point, which was that I sought a change from direct to indirect taxation. That change has come about. I do not dispute the hon. Gentleman's figures. I maintain that it is vital to reduce the burden of direct taxation because it is a tax on people's work. That is what the Government have done, and I am glad that the Chancellor has continued the process today. And he shot the Opposition's fox by providing the benefit at the bottom end and helping the less fortunate people, not the well-heeled. As a result, 21 million people will be an average of £142 better off, with those at the bottom of the scale doing best. That is probably what has annoyed the Opposition.

This has rightly been described as a Budget for recovery. When the recovery comes, as it will, East Anglia in general and Cambridgeshire in particular will be among the first to recover. The Budget creates the right framework for that recovery, because our area is full of small firms and of people anxious to work and to assist the economy. All we need now is that spark of confidence. The Budget provides the right climate. The spark of confidence will come when my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is re-elected as Prime Minister.