HC Deb 15 April 1929 vol 227 cc61-3

After allowing for all the minor concessions or remissions, we are still left with a prospective surplus of £10,246,000, out of which I think the taxpayer is entitled to some further relief. The Super-tax payer, with an in- vestment income has received, of course, nothing in the present Parliament, because the relief of £10,000,000 which he gained in 1925 was at the same time, as is so often forgotten, exactly cancelled out by the increase of Death Duties on the same class of fortunes.


He can only die once, but he gets the relief every year.


The hon. Lady must possess her soul in hope. I can assure her she will not be wholly disappointed. Nevertheless, the Super-tax payer must, I think, be left to contemplate with what equanimity he can the ferocious onslaught which we are assured the Socialist party intend to make upon him. The Income Tax payer has, however, received substantial relief. He has received a relief of 6d. in the standard rate, and this relief, in the case of the smaller class of Income Tax payer, and especially the man with a family to bring up, has been multiplied several times over by the cumulative rebates and allowances made in the Budgets of 1925 and 1928. I should like the Committee to realise how very important, and indeed decisive, these reliefs have been. Take the case of a married man with three children whose income is all earned. On an income of £400, such a man paid in 1924 £5 1s. 3d. in taxation. He now pays nothing. Such a man with £500 a year paid in 1924 £15 3s. 9d. He now pays £3 3s. 4d. That is equivalent to a reduction in the standard rate of Income Tax of 3s. 7d. in the £. With an income of £600 he paid in 1924 £25 6s. 3d. He now pays £11 10s. That is equivalent to a reduction in the standard rate of 2s. 5½d. in the £. On an income of £700 a year, he paid in 1924 £45 11s. 3d. He now pays £19 16s. 8d., or a reduction of 2s. 6½d. in the £. On an £800 a year income, instead of paying £65 odd, he now pays £33, or a reduction of 2s. 2d. in the £. On an income of £900 a year, instead of paying £86 odd he pays £50.


Are these miners?


Does the Labour party take no interest in the affairs of the smaller class of Income Tax payers?—a reduction of 1s. 10d. in the£? On an income of £1,000 a year, where £106 odd was paid in 1924, £67 is paid now, a reduction of 1s. 8d. in the £. On an income of £1,500 a year, where £207 was paid in 1924, £150 is paid now, a reduction of 1s. 3d. in the £. Of course, where the income is derived from investments, or where the taxpayer has fewer or no children, or is unmarried, the scales are less favourable, but the reliefs are none the less real and important throughout the whole range of incomes under £1,000 a year. Indeed, an immense process of relief graduated downwards has been carried out in this Parliament, and that large class, comprising more than half the Income Tax payers, all of what are called the black-coated working men, the brain workers, professional men, technical experts, the "intelligentsia," to use the Moscow jargon, upon whose abilities, attainments and exertions the forward movement of scientific civilisation depends—




It is a fact which is brought bitterly home to every country that ignores it—have gained very great and well-deserved benefit, costing in the present year £2,500,000 more than they did in the Budget of last year. I can do no more for this class in this Budget, and my gaze now rests upon the indirect taxpayer.