HC Deb 19 April 1955 vol 540 cc41-2

Now, for the figures. Total revenue in 1954–55 amounted to £4,738 million, which is £205 million more than my Budget estimate. Inland Revenue duties were £2,541 million, or £157 million more than the estimate of £2,384 million. About half of this excess came from Income Tax, which yielded £1,893 million against the estimate of £1,800 million. The yield from profits assessed under Schedule D was about £40 million above the estimate, and P.A.Y.E. on wages and salaries brought in £50 million more than was expected—which reflects, among other things, the rapid increase in employment and industrial activity which we have achieved this year.

The other main contributors to the higher yield were death duties, stamp duties and Excess Profits Levy, which showed increases of £24 million, £20 million and £16 million, respectively, over the estimates. The first two, death duties and stamps, are due mainly to the rise in Stock Exchange prices over the year; the last, Excess Profits Levy, is due to the clearing up of difficulties which had delayed assessments. Profits Tax and Surtax were very close to their estimates.

These high yields of Inland Revenue are matched by the performance of the Customs and Excise duties. These amounted to £1,872 million, £90 million above the estimate. About half of this increase is accounted for by Purchase Tax, which produced £342 million, or £47 million more than I estimated, a striking indication of the rising level of demand, particularly for cars and durable consumer goods of all kinds.

Tobacco produced a revenue of no less than £650 million, or £17 million above the estimate. Beer, wines and spirits yielded a total of £390 million, £9 million more than the estimate, though the Committee should note that within this satisfactory total beer was down by £4 million. Receipts from the duties under the Import Duties Act, 1932, were above expectations, yielding a total of £62 million, or £6 million over the estimate.

Non-tax revenue was lower than my estimate—£246 million, compared with £290 million. Smaller receipts from sales of the Ministry of Food's stocks are the main reason for this change.