HC Deb 09 April 1962 vol 657 cc993-4

The objectives of the Budget can be summarised as follows. I have tried to maintain some momentum behind the reform of our tax system and the clarification of our public accounts. I believe that the Purchase Tax proposals are a step towards a more rational and better balanced system of indirect taxation. The new Case VII Income Tax, without affecting growth, will meet a long-felt and widely-held grievance and sense of unfair treatment as between taxpayers. I have given an indication of our intentions on Schedule A for owner-occupiers of residential properties.

My proposals, by their general balance, are designed to maintain the improvement in our affairs clearly to be seen since July last. The theme of the Budget is the maintenance of a firm base for sound expansion. The decreases in Bank Rate have helped industry over costs. Should Parliament again give the power to use the Customs and Excise regulator, I shall have an additional way in the coming year of stimulating home demand, if that is what is needed. Our costs, compared with those of some of our principal competitors, have been moving in a way favourable to us, and I believe that our exporters realise the chances which are open to them.

I understand the natural desire to throw off the disciplines and restraints of the past year, but that must be a steady process timed to fit in with actual achievement, and not wishful thinking. I have great confidence in our capacity to take advantage of our opportunities. It may sound bold to say this, but I believe that events will prove the soundness of our policy and the wisdom of our actions.

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