HC Deb 27 June 1996 vol 280 cc455-6
7. Mr. Thomason

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are his objectives in the field of taxation; and if he will make a statement. [33411]

Mr. Jack

We aim to reduce the basic rate of income tax to 20p in the pound and abolish capital gains tax and inheritance tax. The Chancellor will make progress towards these objectives when it is prudent and sensible to do so.

Mr. Thomason

I congratulate my hon. Friend on that answer, which is good news for current taxpayers and taxpayers for many years ahead. Will my hon. Friend confirm that he has no proposals for hidden taxes and that he does not have anything up his sleeve, unlike the Labour party, which has so many proposals up its sleeve that it can hardly get its arm in it?

Mr. Jack

My hon. Friend rightly reminds us that the Opposition are trying to fix their policies, as usual—a state of division and divide. He is right about hidden taxes. We have no plans for a tartan tax, teenage tax, European jobs tax, car tax or a windfall tax. What are dangerous are the taxes that we can see coming, on the successful and the enterprising: the higher-rate taxes proposed for those who earn a little more than £30,000.

Mr. Winnick

Why does the Minister believe, like the rest of his ministerial colleagues, that a tax bribe before the next election will do the trick for them, when the large majority of people are paying a greater percentage in taxes than they were in 1979? That is a dismal failure, and it is unlikely that the electorate will forget it when the election comes.

Mr. Jack

That really is rich coming from the hon. Gentleman, who is a member of a party that disguised its own tax burden on the British people by borrowing so much money—to the equivalent of another 10p on the basic rate of tax. My right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor is not in the business of playing fast and loose with the British economy. He made our position about future tax reductions absolutely clear in his Mansion house speech, and I commend that excellent text to the hon. Gentleman.

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