HC Deb 26 April 1955 vol 540 cc735-6
1. Sir W. Darling

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in view of restricted sources of information at present available to large sections of the public, particularly in London, he will arrange, by leaflets and posters, in post offices and elsewhere, to set forth the factual terms of the Budget of 19th April, 1955.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. R. A. Butler)

The situation has changed, and I think the Budget proposals are widely known. No special action therefore seems called for, but a poster presenting the national revenue and expenditure in graphic form will, as in previous years, be widely distributed.

Sir W. Darling

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that answer, may I take it that he believes in the old adage that good wine needs no bush?

Mr. Woodburn

Is the right hon. Gentleman not apprehensive that this might contradict previous posters which the Conservatives have issued?

Mr. Butler

No, Sir. This has nothing to do with Conservative posters. Each year it has been the habit to put the Budget out in its graphic form—that is to say, the literal facts of the Budget, so that they can be studied by the taxpayer. The more the taxpayer studies them the more satisfied he will be.

Mr. G. Jeger

Does not the Chancellor think that it will be very comforting to those pensioners who have a reduction in their pensions book, particularly for disability allowances, to discover, from the information which he and his party will give them, that other members of the community have had large Income Tax rebates?

Mr. Butler

As I said yesterday in putting a question to the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan), who spoke on Second Reading of the Finance Bill from the Opposition Front Bench, the position is that we shall have to examine whether such pensioners are worse off or not. Many pensioners are better off. I said that I should be only too glad to look into the case which I think the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East is to send to me.

Mr. Callaghan

I hope the letter has already reached the Chancellor. May I ask him whether he will examine it to see whether the dependant's allowance which was paid to this woman will be reduced so that she suffers a reduction in that pension of 5s. a week because of the increase in her old-age pension of 7s. 6d.? Is not this a mean action?

Mr. Butler

I will certainly examine it, with the advice of my right hon. Friend who is responsible for this Department.