§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will give as much information as may be readily available showing the rise and/or fall in actual figures or as a percentage in the purchasing value of the £ sterling, and in taxes on food, between 18th June, 1970, and 18th June, 1971; and how these figures compare with the year ended 18th June, 1970.481W
§ Mr. Higgins
Between 18th June, 1970 and 18th May, 1971, the latest date for which information is available, the purchasing power of the £ fell by 8.7 per cent. For the comparable period from June, 1969 to May, 1970, the fall in the purchasing power was 5.3 per cent. These falls are calculated on the basis of changes in the General Index of Retail Prices over each period. The only tax on food, as such, is purchase tax levied on confectionery, biscuits and crisps, soft drinks and ice cream. There are also protective import duties on some imports of meats and fish products, dairy products and vegetable and fruit products. The rates for these have not been changed during either of the periods mentioned in the Question. The rate of the selective employment tax which also enters into the prices paid for food in shops and restaurants was increased by 28 per cent.
Income tax and surtax Net income after income tax and surtax, national insurance contributions and charges § Income £per annum† At 18th June, 1970 At 18th June, 1971 Reduction in Tax At 18th June, 1970 At 18th June, 1971 Increase in net income £‡ £† £ % £ £ £ % 1,000 52 17 35 67 866 912 46 5.3 2,000 372 319 53 14 1,518 1,549 31 2.0 10,000 4,030 3 619 411 10 5,861 6,244 383 6.5 15,000║ 7,908 6,720 1,188 15 6,983 8,143 1,160 16.6 * Information about the year ended 18th June, 1970, is not available because it does not correspond to a tax year. † The family income is assumed to be all earned by the husband and to include family allowances (but see note ║). The children are assumed to be under 11, and one to be of school age. ‡ The figures shown are the tax for 1970–71 and 1971–72, the years in which the two dates fall; and the family circumstances are assumed to be unchanged throughout these years. It is assumed that the surtax rates for 1970–71 will be unchanged for 1971–72. § Actual charges would vary with individual circumstances: these figures take account of estimated average N.H.S. and school meal charges for the family type and income levels specified. ║ At this income level it is to the family's advantage to forego family allowances. The figures on this line assume that this has been done.