REVIEW of REVIEWS

If Labor Governs

Taxes Will be Increased by Some £53,000,000, According to Prominent Labor Leader

August 1 1935
REVIEW of REVIEWS

If Labor Governs

Taxes Will be Increased by Some £53,000,000, According to Prominent Labor Leader

August 1 1935

If Labor Governs

Taxes Will be Increased by Some £53,000,000, According to Prominent Labor Leader

IF THE Labor Party is returned to power in Great Britain at the General Election which probably is only a few months off, even greater taxation will be necessary, according to The Rt. Hon. H. B. LeesSmith, who was Postmaster-General and Minister of Education in the last Labor Government. He is quoted by Public Opinion (London), as follows:

Our opponents believe that Labor is committed to a vast series of extravagant schemes for which it will be impossible to find the money. This idea can be tested by going through the authorized Labor programme. The following is the list of the proposals requiring expenditure which have been carried at Labor conferences since the last Labor Government came to an end: The abolition of the Household Means Test.

An increase in the scales of unemployment benefit.

The raising of the school age, first to fifteen and later to sixteen.

Miscellaneous educational reforms, such as increased provision for nursery schools and for school meals; a reduction in the size of classes; the replacement of unsuitable school buildings; free secondary education; and an increased number of free places at the Universities.

A housing programme to build 250,000 to 300,000 houses a year.

Health insurance. An increase of sickness and disablement benefit, and increased provision for dental and ophthalmic treatment. A Government grant to meet the case of unemployed persons who have fallen out of health insurance and pension rights.

The repeal of the penal taxation imposed on the funds of Co-operative Societies.

How is this sum, which probably will total £53,000,000, to be raised?

The income tax at present is at 4s 6d in the £. Each extra 6d produces £25,000,000. An increase of a shilling would cover the Labor programme and would leave the income tax at 6d less than it was at the end of the war.

But the Chancellor need not rely on income tax alone, for the death duties offer another alternative. It has been pointed out that even if their present general level is left unaltered, estates of between £20,000 to £50,000 are undertaxed compared with the rest. If their taxation were levelled up a sum of about £10,000,000 a year would be raised.

A small increase in the taxes on motors, petrol and tobacco would produce another £15,000,000.

Taxes on luxuries and advertisements have long been debated, and an enterprising Chancellor may decide to take them up.

Our programme is not for one year, but for one Parliament, so that only a part of our new expenditure will come into our first Budget. I confidently believe that the Labor Party’s Home and Foreign Policy will lead to a general improvement of trade and a reduction of armaments, both of which will show their good results in the Budgets of later years.