§ Before describing my direct tax proposals, I should outline very briefly the Government's position on a tax credit system.
§ We believe, as we explained at length in opposition, that there are serious drawbacks to the tax credit scheme proposed by the previous administration. They were fully described in the Minority Reports of the Select Committee. We have not taken any decision against the principle of a negative income tax, which was the subject of considerable study under the previous Labour Government, but our immediate priority has been to carry out the major increase in national insurance benefits which I have referred to. We are also pledged to improve the present provision for children, but this must wait until a later Budget.