HC Deb 30 April 1919 vol 115 cc182-3
The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)

What revenue have we got to set against that? On the existing basis of taxation, we expect to collect during the coming year a revenue of £1,159,650,000, an increase, without any alteration in taxation, of £270,629,000 over the actual receipts of last year. Details will be given in the White Paper, which will be in the hands of Members of the House, I hope, almost immediately after my statement is finished. I need only remark here that it includes a sum of £300,000,000 on account of Excess Profits Duty, and of £210,000,000 for miscellaneous revenue, of which £200,000,000 are receipts from the realisation of Vote of Credit assets. The sum taken on account of Excess Profits Duty may be counted upon whatever be the decision of the House in respect of that Duty. It represents tax due for accounting periods already closed, or already running out, and even if the tax were brought to an end as rapidly as possible, there would remain to be paid £300,000,000 in the current year, and I anticipate £100,000,000 in the year after. As regards the £200,000,000 which I have taken as the probable receipts from Vote of Credit assets this year, this figure, of course, does not represent the total amount of these assets, nor even the total amount expected to be realised in the present year. It is the amount of cash which we hope will be paid into the Exchequer, over and above the very considerable amounts from the same source which are appropriated in aid of Votes. I will give the figures of the Appropriations in Aid:

In aid of the Ministry of Munitions £140,000,000
In aid of the Ministry of Shipping £50,000,000
Of the War Office £50,000,000
Of the Admiralty £14,000,000
Together £254,000,000
Making with £200,000,000
which I expect to receive into the Exchequer, a total for the year of £454,000,000
Even that does not exhaust the amount of the credit which we expect to realise. I put the total value of these assets outstanding on March 31st last at approximately £800,000,000. There will, therefore, be a further sum to come in in future years. The £200,000,000 estimated for this year is necessarily a provisional figure. It is extremely difficult to form any good estimate either of the time at which these assets can be realised or the prices which they will fetch. All I need say at the moment is that I am advised that it is a safe estimate.