HC Deb 08 February 1951 vol 483 cc1937-8
63. Mr. Maudling

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many additional staff would be required in the Inland Revenue Department to introduce and to maintain an annual tax on net capital gains arising from Stock Exchange transactions, and from all capital transactions, respectively.

Mr. Jay

I am unable to give any reliable estimate, as the staff required would depend on the precise scheme of taxation adopted. But the adoption of any completely new tax of this kind would almost certainly involve the use of a substantial number of qualified staff.

Mr. Maudling

Can the Financial Secretary at least say whether the number involved will be more or less than the number required to make real inroads on existing arrears of tax uncollected to date?

Mr. Jay

I would not like to give a precise estimate of that without notice.

Mr. Osborne

Is the Minister aware that over a long period there are more losses on the Stock Exchange than gains, and that if he had to offset the losses against the gains there would be no revenue from this proposal?

Mr. Jay

I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman is speaking from personal experience, but I will take note of his opinion.

Sir W. Darling

Will the hon. Gentleman agree that net capital gains are very desirable and should be encouraged?

Mr. Jay

Sometimes perhaps, but not always.

Mr. S. Silverman

Can my hon. Friend explain how it is that there are more losses than gains on the Stock Exchange, as suggested by the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. Osborne)?

Mr. Osborne

Is not the Financial Secretary aware that the answer to that supplementary question is to be found in the bankruptcy courts?