HC Deb 31 January 1991 vol 184 cc1100-1
11. Dr. Godman

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the effect on Government revenues of a 1p cut in the basic rate of tax.

Mr. Maude

About £2 billion in a full year.

Dr. Godman

I know that the Chancellor is a bit of a chancer, but may I urge him to resist taking the main chance offered by such a tax cut? Will he instead provide more expenditure for the training of our actual and potential work force? Would not such expenditure enable many unemployed people to aspire to skills and knowledge that would put them in a better position in the labour market?

Mr. Maude

The hon. Gentleman makes his Budget representations in a somewhat delphic way. In response to his point about spending money on training, I mentioned earlier, and repeat for his benefit, that the CBI survey indicates that the amount of money spent by private companies on training is likely to be increased or maintained this year. The majority of companies are expecting to increase the amount that they spend on training. That is good news. We have already a massive programme of training in Britain, which is very much to be welcomed.

Mr. Oppenheim

Will my hon. Friend resist this year the urge to raise taxes, particularly on savings? Would not the Opposition's suggestion of reintroducing the investment income surcharge discourage savings? Does not that show how little the Opposition's underlying attitudes have changed, whatever their glossy image is?

Mr. Maude

The idea propounded by the Labour party that one should at the same time encourage savings and tax them more heavily is one which I have not yet managed to understand.