§ The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. John Moore)
The estimated total of taxes, rates, and national insurance contributions is £117 billion in 1983–84; the yield in 1978–79 revalued to 1983–84 prices using the GDP deflator was £100 billion.
§ Mr. Straw
Are not those figures, which show that under this Government taxation has increased by £17 billion a year in real terms, a staggering indictment of the economic record of mismanagement by the Government who promised in 1979 and 1983 that taxes would be reduced? Do they not show also that, whatever so-called pledges the Chancellor may now be making, there is no prospect of getting taxation back to the 1979 level during the lifetime of this Government?
§ Mr. Moore
The figures show that, apart from facing such problems as the world recession, the Government, when they first came into office four and a half years ago, had to break the pattern of Socialist inflation and repay the absurd level of international external debt with which the Labour Government had saddled this country.