HC Deb 10 March 1981 vol 1000 c783

This Budget has been designed to sustain the fight against inflation, and to help redress the balance of the economy in favour of business and industry. It is only by giving priority to those objectives that we can strengthen the basis for sustained economic advance.

We shall continue to pursue our strategy for the defeat of inflation with determination.—[Interruption.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The Chancellor of the Exchequer must be allowed to complete his statement.

Sir Geoffrey Howe

That strategy will be fortified by the changes that I am proposing today. These changes will reinforce the progress that has already been made and for which the nation can take credit.

In the year ahead the burden of income tax and Excise duties has to rise in order to secure lower interest rates and thus improve the prospects for industry and employment.

The downturn in the present economic cycle has been unusually severe. But it should now be coming close to its end. When recovery does start, the country will be better fitted than for many years to take advantage of the new opportunities, for important lessons have been painfully learnt. A greater sense of realism has been restored.

So, as we look further ahead, we can reasonably expect lower inflation and, in due course, lower unemployment and a reversal of the upward trend in the burden of taxation.

My present proposals are designed to secure our steady progress in that direction, and I commend them to the House.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. Under Standing Order No. 94, the first motion, entitled"Provisional Collection of Taxes", must be decided without debate.