HC Deb 06 April 1948 vol 449 cc49-50

I now come to a brief review of the results of the year which has just ended. These have more than justified the anticipations of my predecessor, a fact which, I am sure pleases him as much as it does me.

The Budget of April, 1947, increased taxation, on balance, by £53 million in a full year, and provided for a surplus of £270 million. In the autumn, as the Committee will remember, a Supplementary Budget was introduced, largely to stem the then increasing inflationary tendencies. This imposed further taxation, estimated to bring in an extra £198 million in a full year. On this basis the anticipated surplus for 1947–48 would have totalled £318 million. Instead, the realised surplus has amounted to £636 million. The size of this surplus is, to some extent, itself a measure of the inflationary situation; but nevertheless it shows that my predecessor was very wise in the measures that he took, even though they may not, in the event, have proved sufficient to achieve the whole of his purpose.

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