§ 19. Mr. William Hamilton
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to reply to the Estimates Committee's Report on the Inland Revenue.
§ Mr. Roy Jenkins
I have not yet completed my consideration of the Estimates Committee's Report, but I shall present a White Paper as soon as possible.
§ Mr. Hamilton
Can my right hon. Friend say whether the reply of the Treasury will be available before the Budget, so that we might have a debate on the report before the Budget? But meanwhile will he in any case give an assurance that he will not be inhibited by the terms of the report from initiating 239 such tax changes as he thinks necessary in the presentation of his Budget?
§ Mr. Jenkins
I certainly hope to be able to present the White Paper as soon as possible, and I hope that that might be before the Budget. In any tax changes which I might wish to propose, I am bound to take account of the administrative consequences. I am a little bewildered that my hon. Friend, having presided over the Committee, appears for the moment to be asking me to take no notice of its recommendations.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
Will not the Chancellor also take into account the fact that since the report was published the militant behaviour of Inland Revenue staff demonstrates their fear that any action he takes in the Budget in regard to taxation will cause additional complications in the Inland Revenue and additional tardiness in dealing with thousands of taxpayers' individual assessments?
§ Mr. Barnett
Have not preliminary investigations indicated that the Estimates Committee was somewhat naïve in its simple acceptance of the Inland Revenue's staff federation's submissions?
§ Mr. Jenkins
I would never wish to accuse the Estimates Committee while under my hon. Friend of being naïve.