§ 22. Mr. Cronin
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give an approximate estimate as to the extent to which imports will increase and the balance of payments will be affected in the coming fiscal year as a consequence of the tax reliefs and repayments of postwar credits in his recent Budget.
It is approximately estimated that the tax reliefs and repayments of post-war credits proposed in the Budget might lead to an increase in imports of £60 to £70 million in the present fiscal year. The balance of payments would be affected but to a lesser extent, since the greater earnings of our overseas customers would enable them to buy more from us. Hence our exports and invisible earnings would also be 204 bigger than would otherwise have been the case.
§ Mr. Cronin
Will the Chancellor of the Exchequer at least reassure the beneficiaries of his Budget that if this eventuates and there is a drain on sterling in the autumn, and if the Prime Minister still shows his present reluctance to go to the country, he will find some means of withdrawing their benefits?
The hon. Gentleman can rely on me to take all appropriate steps in any economic circumstances that may arise.
§ 29. Mr. Swingler
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what number and proportion of Income Tax payers pay Surtax; and what is the average amount of tax relief per head they receive from his Budget.
Three hundred and seventy thousand, or 2 per cent. of all Income Tax payers who get an average relief of £115.
§ Mr. Swingler
Does the Chancellor recall that last week the Economic Secretary to the Treasury told us that £40 million a year, or 24 per cent. of the reliefs in the right hon. Gentleman's Budget, went to Surtax payers? Can we therefore take it from his Answer now that it was his intention that the 2 per cent. who are the richest taxpayers in the country should have 24 per cent. of the reliefs in the Budget?
When the standard rate of tax is reduced the biggest actual reduction goes to those who pay the highest amount of tax, but the effects of the reductions which I have proposed will mean that Surtax payers as a whole will get a smaller proportionate reduction in their tax.
A single man will receive £12 2s. 6d. relief if his income is wholly earned and £18 7s. 6d. if it is wholly unearned. The comparable figures for a married man without children are £8 11s. 8d. and £14 12s. 6d., respectively.
No, Sir, not at all. The fact is that those who pay more get the bigger total reductions, but they get a smaller proportionate reduction in their total tax.