HC Deb 06 April 1948 vol 449 cc54-6

I now come to the estimate of revenue for 1948–49, on the existing basis of taxation. During 1948–49, Customs and Excise receipts will show the full effect of the changes in taxation introduced since last April, including the tobacco concession to the old age pensioners, which was introduced in October last. Beer, and the rest of the alcoholic drinks, are expected to bring in £400 million, tobacco £560 million, and Purchase Tax £300 million. These, together with an estimated £240 million from other Customs and Excise duties, bring the total estimated revenue from this branch to £1,500 million.

So far as the Inland Revenue is concerned, we can look for a further expansion this year. There has been a considerable expansion of profits in 1947, and it is those profits which will come under charge to Income Tax this year. There was also a considerable rise in wages and salaries last autumn, with the result that total earnings will be running at a higher level this year than they were last year. Even allowing for the increased reliefs which were given by last year's Budget, which will operate fully this year, I anticipate a yield of £1,395 million from Income Tax this year, compared with £1,190 million last year. Last year's high Surtax yield will, I hope, be maintained and I estimate for £90 million. I expect 160 million from Death Duties, and £55 million from stamps. E.P.T. will show a further substantial fall—it now being over a year since the tax was taken off—but we can reckon on a full year's yield of the increased Profits Tax, so that the two together are estimated to yield £250 million this year. Adding £1 million for miscellaneous duties gives a total from Inland Revenue of £1,951 million, or an increase on last year's out-turn of £152 million. Since the present Government took office, we have reduced Income Tax by 1s. in the £, substantially increased personal allowances and reliefs, and abolished E.P.T.; and yet the total yield of Inland Revenue duties is now not far short of the all time peak of £2,043 million, reached in 1945–46.

Coming now to other revenue, I put the Motor Duty at £50 million. From surplus stores I expect to get £102 million, as against the estimate of £95 million last year. Trading services should realise £57 million, against last year's estimate of £55 million; £12 million should come from broadcasting licences and Crown Lands, £14 million from sundry loans, and £68 million from miscellaneous receipts—against the exceptional figure of £270 million estimated, and £243 million re- ceived last year. The total of these items is £303 million. To sum up, therefore, the total revenue on the existing basis of taxation is estimated at £3,754 million as against an expenditure of £2,976 million, or a prospective surplus, on the traditional basis, of £778 million.