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Tax-Free Profits

Volume 645: debated on Tuesday 25 July 1961

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Before I deal with wages and salaries, I want to say something about those profits which escape taxation. I have already explained my practical objections to a conventional capital gains tax. However, that does not affect my view that certain profits at present tax free should be brought within the existing system of taxation. I said so in my Budget speech and again the other day. I have made sufficient progress in this matter to be able to say definitely that in next year's Budget I shall be bringing forward measures designed to impose a clear liability to tax over a wider field than at present.

The activities I want to see taxed are of two main kinds. The first kind are those seeking short-term profits, which are more in the nature of speculation than investment, for example, short term transactions in shares and securities. The second kind are, in effect, trading activities—often in real estate—hut cloaked in such form as to escape liability under the present law.