HC Deb 05 May 1955 vol 540 cc1881-2
21. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the total average sums per head of relief granted in the Budgets during the years 1952 to 1955 to taxpayers whose incomes exceed £5,000 a year, to taxpayers with incomes between £2,000 and £5,000, to taxpayers whose incomes are between £250 and £500 and to taxpayers whose incomes are below £250.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Henry Brooke)

£465, £165, £14 10s. and £5 10s. respectively, many of those in the last two classes being relieved of the whole of the tax they were previously paying.

Mr. Thomson

Will the Financial Secretary not agree that these figures have a complexion very different from that of the percentage presentation he made during the debates on the Finance Bill? Do not these figures give a much more realistic picture of the kind of tax reliefs the present Government have been giving?

Mr. Brooke

They do, of course, give an entirely unrealistic picture except in conjunction with the amounts of tax which are still being paid. The wealthiest of these classes is still paying an average of £5,388 in tax, the second £978, the third £14 10s., and the fourth only £1 7s. 6d.

Mr. Lewis

Can the hon. Gentleman say how much increase of their net spending power there is in the pockets of each of these classes of individuals? Is he aware that in answering a previous Question he showed that the very wealthy have had a much bigger increase in their spending power than those with lower incomes?

Mr. Brooke

These tax reductions for the wealthiest amount to 8 per cent. of their previous tax. If the hon. Member is asking the question that I think he is, I would observe that that question has already been answered.

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