§ 58. Captain FAIRFAX
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he 1719 has any information that the German Finance Minister is proposing considerable tax reductions and tax simplification in collection and returns; and, if so, whether he will consider any respects in which that example might be helpfully followed in the preparation of his Budget?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I have not yet received any information as to the proposals recently made by the German Finance Minister beyond what has appeared in the public Press. The general position, however, is well known. As the result of the collapse of the mark in 1923 the German Government was forced to adopt an emergency tax system of a makeshift character, based largely on taxes on turnover and great uncertainty in estimating prevailed. In consequence of a policy of currency stabilisation and the alteration in values an abnormal Budget surplus has accrued. The revision of the emergency taxation system has for some time been under consideration. I understand that the principal measures which the German Finance Minister has proposed are to reduce the various taxes on turnover and on industrial amalgamations and to alter the dates of payment of certain other direct taxes. It will be seen that conditions in Germany are very different from those in this country, where we have neither a multiplicity of temporary direct taxes, nor, so far as I am aware, an abnormal Budget surplus.