HC Deb 21 October 1952 vol 505 cc838-9
9. Mr. Osborne

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer approximately what proportion of the £596 million paid last year in interest and dividends went to Surtax payers and to stockholders not liable to Income Tax, respectively; and approximately how many people shared in the total amount.

Mr. R. A. Butler

It is estimated that about 40 per cent. of the dividends and interest paid by companies are received by Surtax payers and a further 10 per cent. by life assurance funds, charitable organisations and similar bodies. No information is available as to the proportion received by persons not liable to Income Tax or the total number of recipients.

Mr. Osborne

Does the Chancellor mean by that that the net amount received by individuals will be considerably less than half the figure he gave last week and would represent about 4s. a week per wage earner if totally distributed to the wage earner?

Mr. Butler

I would hesitate to interfere with the calculations of my hon. Friend.

Mr. Dalton

Is it not clear from the answer of the right hon. Gentleman that the greatest inequality still prevails if 40 per cent. of these dividends still accrue to the trifling minority of the population who pay Surtax?

Mr. Osborne

Is it not also true that if it were distributed to wage earners it would not represent 4s. a week?