HC Deb 13 March 1986 vol 93 cc1070-1
7. Mr. Kirkwood

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to publish the Green Paper on personal taxation.

Mr. Lawson

On Budget day.

Mr. Kirkwood

Will the Chancellor take the opportunity of the publication of the Green Paper to make it clear that he will extend the consultation period to include the possibility of integration of taxation and the benefit system? Will he also give an assurance that he will take note of the findings of the House of Lords Select Committee on European Legislation and of the European Community, to the effect that the arguments against transferable allowances are substantially stronger than those in favour of it because they discriminate against women's prospects for employment?

Mr. Lawson

The hon. Gentleman will not expect me to anticipate the Green Paper which is to be published on Budget day. I hope he will find it of interest when it is published. The matters to which he has referred will be fully aired in the Green Paper, and there will be every opportunity for consultation.

Mr. Portillo

Does my right hon. Friend accept that the proposals will enable men and women to be treated equally in taxation matters? Does he agree that they are likely to be immensely popular and will represent an enormous step forward?

Mr. Lawson

My hon. Friend is correct. An increasing number of married women are fed up with the way in which the present tax system discriminates against and treats them almost as second-class citizens. I think that they are right to have this sense of grievance. The proposals that are to be aired in the Green Paper would remove all of those grievances.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

Is the Chancellor aware that the programmes of a Labour Government will be funded not only through higher levels of taxation for the higher paid, but through the adoption of a completely different industrial strategy based on growth, as against the one of recession adopted by the Government? Another area that we could tap for higher taxes is the many billions of pounds that are given away by the Government in the form of concessions on capital transfer and capital gains tax. The accumulation of the sources of finance would be quite sufficient to fund the major programme of a Labour Government.

Mr. Lawson

There is no way in which the hon. Gentleman and his colleagues can find £24 billion from capital taxes. Even the Labour Government, who introduced new and more punitive capital taxes, were unable to raise anything like that sum. Ten years ago, when they followed the hon. Gentleman's advice, they had to go cap in hand to the IMF.

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