§ 7. Mr. Millan
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the average percentage of income which was represented by unearned income for the year 1958–59, in the case of total income of Surtax payers ranging from £2,000 to £2,500 per annum, at which range the lowest rate of Surtax is payable.
§ Mr. Selwyn Lloyd
It is estimated that 29 per cent. of the total income of individuals liable to Surtax for 1958–59 only at the lowest rate of 2s. in the £ was investment income.
§ Mr. Millan
Does not that high figure for unearned income at the lowest rate of income chargeable to Surtax shatter the myth that Surtax falls exclusively on the higher salary earners? Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman keep in mind that, even if there were some justification for reducing Surtax, the very worst way of doing it would be by raising the level at which it begins to be payable because in that way higher salary earners and those drawing dividends would get equal benefit?
§ Mr. Lloyd
It has never been said that the burden falls exclusively on those in receipt of earned income. The figure of 29 per cent. for this category is of interest. The hon. Member may be interested in the figure for the whole range, which is 38 per cent. investment income in the whole range of Surtax.