HC Deb 20 January 1953 vol 510 cc18-9
25. Miss Ward

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in framing his Budget, he will take steps by way of financial inducements to make the accumulation of small savings more attractive to people who, on retirement. will live on small fixed incomes.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I regret that I cannot anticipate my Budget statement.

Miss Ward

In view of the fact that the Treasury collect £27 million per annum from incomes of under £250, if my right hon. Friend really wants to do something for people living on small fixed incomes will he kindly consider whether he could not remove altogether their liability to tax, and thus give some needed comfort to those who are suffering from Socialism in our time?

29. Mr. G. Jeger

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the concern caused by the reduction of national savings during the past year; and what steps he proposes to take to reduce the cost of living and so permit individuals to resume saving.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. I appeal to the public to co-operate with the National Savings movement in the efforts which they are making to improve the position. The movement has the wholehearted support of the Government, whose policy is actively directed towards creating the conditions conducive to saving.

Mr. Jeger

Would the Chancellor answer the second part of the Question relating to reductions in the cost of living to permit saving to take place?

Mr. Butler

I would not like to isolate any particular feature as being the cause for the situation described by the hon. Member.

Mr. Jeger

But does not the Chancellor recognise that the increased cost of living during the past year has had a direct result upon the decrease in savings, and what steps does he propose to take to permit people to save more by having to spend less upon food, clothing, furniture and other articles of daily use?

Mr. Butler

If the hon.. Member had listened to answers to previous Questions this afternoon he would have realised that the efforts of the Government to reduce the cost of living have been singularly more successful than those of his own party.

Mr. Mellish

Will the right hon. Gentleman take it from me that the dockers who are unemployed cannot believe there has been any improvement in the cost of living, and will he tell us how they can save some money?

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