HC Deb 13 November 1951 vol 493 cc818-9
56. Mrs. Barbara Castle

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what will be the net saving to the Treasury in a full year from the reduction of Ministers' salaries from £5,000 per year to £4,000, after taking into account the loss of Income Tax and Surtax resulting from the reduction.

51. Mr. R. T. Paget

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state the total net saving to the Exchequer resulting from the reduction in salary accepted by Ministers of the Crown.

57. Mr. Wedgwood Benn

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the estimated net annual saving to the Exchequer of the recent reductions in salaries of Ministers, after taking into account all relevant factors of Income Tax and Surtax; and what will be the average weekly saving.

58. Mr. Thomas Reid

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what he estimates will be the total annual net saving to the Exchequer caused by reducing the salaries of Ministers who hitherto had salaries of £5,000 a year or over, taking Income and Surtax into account.

64. Mr. Frederick Mulley

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state the saving to the Exchequer in a full year of the reduction of £1,000 per year of Ministers' salaries; and also the estimated loss to the revenue of Income Tax and Surtax arising from this decision.

Mr. R. A. Butler

It would be contrary to established practice to give information based on the liability to tax of individual taxpayers.

If the Ministers entitled to salaries of £5,000 a year, who will now receive £4,000 a year, had no other sources of income. the net saving would be £300 in each case, or £7,500 in all. To the extent that they have other sources of income, the saving is less according to the personal circumstances of each case.

Mrs. Castle

Is it not a fact that in the case of a large number of right hon. Gentlemen the net loss of income per head will be nearer £25 a year than £1,000 a year, and is this not a very cheap way of setting an example?

Mr. Butler

I neither know the personal circumstances of my more intimate colleagues, nor if I did know them would I be any more ready to divulge them than is the Inland Revenue. In answer to the hon. Lady I would say that this is a sincere move made by those concerned, as the Prime Minister said, as a signal to the country at a time of great difficulty. I sincerely hope that it will be accepted in this House as it has been accepted in the country.

Mr. Benn

Does the right hon. Gentleman not agree that the efficiency of the signal has been rather weakened by the Treasury smokescreen previously erected around it?

Mrs. E. M. Braddock

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the trade union movement there is a name for people who introduce schemes teat reduce the rate which has already been established for any particular job?

Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport

Did not exactly the same position exist with the capitalists on the Front Bench in the previous Government?