HC Deb 21 April 1970 vol 800 cc227-8
17. Sir J. Langford-Holt

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, compared with the figures of 35.9 per cent. in 1950, 29.7 per cent. in 1964 and 37.9 per cent. in 1968, what percentage of the national income was taken in taxation both direct and indirect in 1969.

Mr. Diamond

The percentage for 1968 has now been revised to 37.7 per cent. and the percentage for 1969 is 40.6 per cent. These figures cover central government direct and indirect taxation and local authority rates.

Sir J. Langford-Holt

As these figures show quite clearly that every time there is a Conservative Government the figures go down and each time there is a Labour Government they go up, can the right hon. Gentleman say whether it is the policy of this Government to raise the figures year after year?

Mr. Diamond

The policy of the Government, in contrast with the policy of the party opposite, is to devote a pro- portion of national resources to social services and public expenditure of one kind or another. We have just had four days of debate on the state of the nation's economy. I have heard many proposals for increased public expenditure, including some from the right hon. Member for Enfield, West (Mr. lain Macleod), but not one for a reduction.