HC Deb 04 May 1989 vol 152 cc354-5
13. Mr. Atkinson

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the annual average rate of growth of real personal disposable income since 1983.

Mr. Brooke

Real personal disposable income has grown by 3 per cent. per year, on average, since 1983.

Mr. Atkinson

How much have real incomes increased since 1979? Will my right hon. Friend confirm that since 1979 the British people have enjoyed greater prosperity than ever before in our history thanks to the economic policies of—[Interruption.]

Mr. Brooke

I can confirm exactly the effect that my hon. Friend was seeking to achieve at that precise moment.

Mr. Ian Taylor

Does my right hon. Friend agree that taxation rates at the higher level are a critical factor in judging whether the entrepreneurial spirit will exist in society? Does he agree that rates at the top level of 50 per cent. and abolition of the cut-off point for national insurance are likely to damage the entrepreneurial spirit and have a long-term adverse effect on the economy? Is he aware that that is the latest policy statement of the Labour party?

Mr. Brooke

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. It is a tribute to both my right hon. Friends that the effect of 10 years of this Government has been to produce a reduction from 83 per cent. to 50 per cent. in the thinking of the Opposition.

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