HC Deb 30 June 1966 vol 730 cc2174-5
26. Mr. Dickens

asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he proposes to include dividend distribution in the forthcoming legislation setting up an early warning procedure for prices and incomes.

Mr. George Brown

I would ask my hon. Friend to await the publication of the Bill.

Mr. Dickens

May I draw my right hon. Friend's attention to the fact that, between 1960–65. whereas productivity rose by 14 per cent. dividend distribution rose by 59 per cent.? May I also draw my right hon. Friend's attention to the fact that there is no realistic prospect of a successful incomes policy being launched which does not cover unearned income?

Mr. Brown

I have made it clear from the very beginning that the present productivity, prices and incomes policy, unlike some previous attempts, is concerned with all forms of income, however they arise. I have said many times that I deplore the increased dividend payments, particularly in the earlier part of this year, and the Chancellor and I have not only said but shown that we are ready to take action where that seems to be required.