HC Deb 15 November 1960 vol 630 cc193-4
22. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what plans there are to increase Government revenue in Hong Kong by means of a tax on salaries.

Mr. H. Fraser

A tax is already levied on salaries.

Mr. Thomson

Can the hon. Gentleman say how he squares his last Answer with the fact that salary tax in Hong Kong has never risen to more than 12½ per cent. of salaries and is generally very much smaller than Income Tax in this country?

Mr. Nabarro

Jolly good.

Mr. Fraser

The main object, surely, is to see that the revenues of Hong Kong remain buoyant, and it is the intention of the Government to see that they remain buoyant, so that money can be found for these enormous services which have to be overcome. The hon. Gentleman is aware that between 1957 and this year actual Government expenditure and revenue will have risen from 509 million dollars to 668 million dollars.

Mr. Longden

Does not my hon. Friend agree that Hong Kong is a shining example of self-help throughout the Commonwealth——

Mr. Ellis Smith

Not very shining.

Mr. Longden

—and is coping with enormous difficulties with tremendous courage and efficiency, almost wholly out of its own resources?

Mr. Fraser

Yes. Sir; I agree with my hon. Friend.

Mr. Rankin

Should not the revenues of Hong Kong also be brought into relation with the social and other needs of Hong Kong, which are dreadfully behind those in the Western world?

Mr. Fraser

The hon. Gentleman is doubtless aware from the figures of what the Hong Kong Government are doing—building accommodation for 100,000 people a year, pushing forward with 215,000 and more new places in schools in the last five years, and providing hospital beds, which have risen from 7,000 and are expected to number 11,000 in the next few years.

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