asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that James Douglas, of 2, McDowall Street, Paisley, has recently been compulsorily transferred from a naval torpedo factory to a shipbuilding yard at a loss of wages amounting to about £3 per week; that Income Tax of £1 8s. 8d. per week has to be deducted from his reduced wages; and whether he will give special consideration to this case with a view to reducing this burden?
I would remind my hon. Friend that the rules governing the deduction of Income Tax from wages provide that the week's wages shall not be reduced by deduction of tax below £2 for a single man, £3 for a married man, £4 for a married man with one child and £5 for a married man with two or more children. The effect of these rules, where the limits come into operation, is to spread payment of the tax over a longer period and thus to prevent hardship.
If I show the right hon. Gentleman proof that on Friday night certain engineers went home from their work with only £1 11s. 2d., what action would he be prepared to take?
I would like to see the case first?
If I produce the pay dockets, what will the right hon. Gentleman do? I want to know what action he would take.
If my hon. Friend will send me the case, I will look into it willingly.
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider between now and his next Budget the possibility of a new basis of taxation on workmen's wages and not lose sight of the fact that great dissatisfaction is caused when tax is levied on past income?
Of course, I will consider anything which my hon. Friend desires, but that matter has been very carefully considered during the last 12 months.
Is it not true that I warned the right hon. Gentleman a year ago about the trouble which was going on in the shipbuilding and engineering industry, and which is still going on and has resulted in the present situation, and that nothing has been done?
This is the only case to which my attention has been drawn.