HC Deb 01 April 1969 vol 781 cc218-9
25. Mr. Kenneth Baker

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what he estimates the yield of short-term Capital Gains Tax to be in the years 1968–69 and 1969–70.

Mr. Diamond

About £5 million in 1968–69. It is not the practice to publish estimates for the coming year in advance of the Budget statement.

Mr. Baker

Does not the Chief Secretary agree that as the yield of this tax is very small and as most of it would be caught under the long-term Capital Gains Tax in any event, there is no justification for maintaining both a short-term and a long-term Capital Gains Tax? Why does the Minister not roll the two together?

Mr. Diamond

It is not correct to say "most of it". It is correct to say that only one half of it would be collected. I have much greater respect for taxes brought in by the Conservative Party than has the hon. Member.

Mr. Hugh Jenkins

Is not the object of the hon. Member for Acton (Mr. Kenneth Baker) in his Question to transfer the burden of taxation from the wealthy to the less economically privileged? Will my right hon. Friend resist that?

Mr. Diamond

I would not agree with my hon. Friend that the hon. Member has given any real thought to the matter at all. All he is concerned with is to remove the burden of tax from his own shoulders.

Hon. Members



Mr. Iain Macleod

May I raise a point of order, Mr. Speaker, which I have postponed until the end of Question Time? This arises out of an answer by the Chief Secretary to my hon. Friend the Member for Acton (Mr. Kenneth Baker) on Question No. 25, which was a purely routine Question about the yield of a tax. At the end of the supplementaries the Chief Secretary said words to the effect that my hon. Friend was interested only in reducing his own burden of taxation. We know the Chief Secretary well and I am quite certain, if I may say so, that he did not mean that, but it stands like that in HANSARD. I should be grateful either for a comment by the Chief Secretary or for a Ruling by you.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I took it to be a light-hearted remark. I should be grateful, however, if the Chief Secretary would make a comment.

Mr. Diamond

When I replied to a question by the hon. Member for Acton (Mr. Kenneth Baker)—I am trying to recollect the words exactly—I referred to his being concerned with the removing of the burden of taxation and went on to say "from his own shoulders". That was a comment which was lacking in courtesy and I therefore spoke to the hon. Member and asked him whether he would wish me to withdraw it and to apologise publicly. He said that he did not wish me to do so. That fact reflects great credit on the spirit of the hon. Member but it does not relieve me of the need to withdraw those words, which I do unreservedly.