HC Deb 10 November 1964 vol 701 cc809-10
4. Mr. Lipton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many one-man businesses declare a net income of less than £500 a year.

Mr. Diamond

The latest available figures of assessments on trading profits and professional earnings are for 1961–62 and they relate, broadly speaking, to the earnings in 1960. The number of cases where the net true income assessed was less than £500 a year amounted to 851,900. The figures of net true income are after deduction of capital allowances. I would remind my hon. Friend that some of these assessments are on subsidiary earnings and some are for only part of a year, while they exclude all income of the taxpayer from any other source.

Mr. Lipton

Is there not something odd and, perhaps, even fishy about those figures? Do they not reveal that a substantial number of people are either understating their income or, alternatively, not deriving much benefit from the so-called affluence of thirteen years of Tory rule?

Mr. Diamond

As to the first part of the question, it is not at all evident from the figures for the reasons which I have already given. The record of efficiency of tax inspectors in this country in assessing trading profits compares favourably with the record of other countries.

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