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Volume 526: debated on Tuesday 6 April 1954

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Inland Revenue duties amounted to £2,340 million against the estimate of £2,436 million, that is £96 million less. The shortfall occurred in Income Tax, Profits Tax and Excess Profits Levy, and was primarily due to the fact that company profits in the textile and allied trades declined as a result of the 1952 recession rather more than we could foresee. In addition, the suspension of initial allowances from April, 1952, produced a somewhat smaller increase in revenue than we had hoped. On the other hand, the general buoyancy of the economy in 1953 was reflected in an increase in the value of Stock Exchange securities and other property, with the result that the yield of both Death Duties and Stamp Duties was larger than the estimate. The yield of Surtax was also slightly greater that was expected.

But if Inland Revenue fell short of expectations, Customs and Excise Duties exceeded them. The total yield of these duties was £1,764 million, or £39 million more than the estimate. Tobacco yielded £627 million, or £12 million more than the estimate. Beer, wines and spirits, as usual, returned a score second only to tobacco, providing £383 million or £11 million more than the estimate. Import Duties yielded £54 million or £16 million less than the estimate. Purchase Tax produced a total of £299 million, no less than £39 million over the estimate.

Non-tax revenue yielded more than the estimate. For example, receipts from Sundry Loans amounted to £38 million, compared with the forecast of £25 million, practically the whole of the difference being accounted for by an advance repayment of part of our wartime loans to the Netherlands Government. Miscellaneous Revenue has produced £136 million, or £41 million more than the Budget estimate, an increase largely due to the trading surplus of the Ministry of Materials.