HC Deb 07 March 1967 vol 742 cc1239-40
14. Mr. St. John-Stevas

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to simplify the tax system.

Mr. MacDermot

I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer my right hon. Friend gave on 17th January to the hon. Member for Folkestone and Hythe (Mr. Costain)—[Vol. 739, c. 6]—and to my speech in the debate on 27th January. —[Vol. 739, c. 2006–20.]

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Would not the Treasury be well advised to start a pro- cess of simplification with the abolition of the grotesque and inequitable Selective Employment Tax and so save us the trouble of abolishing it when we return to power?

Mr. MacDermot

That is hardly a very good example, because the Selective Employment Tax is one of the simplest and cheapest taxes to collect.

Mr. John Hall

Would not the hon. and learned Gentleman agree that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in introducing his first Budget, said that it was his intention to simplify the tax structure? Would he not also agree that any accountant or secretary will tell him that the taxation system has never been more complicated than it is now and that it is most important to arrive at an accurate assessment of tax liability?

Mr. MacDermot

Most accountants would tell the hon. Gentleman that the introduction of Corporation Tax has enormously simplified company taxation.