asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will now announce the outcome of the Government's review of investment allowances.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on his review of investment incentives.
I am not yet in a position to do so.
Would not the Chancellor agree that this review, like many other Government reviews, seems to be taking an inordinately long time? Can he give the House an assurance that when he decides upon new forms of investment allowances, he will not compensate the Treasury for this by raising the rate of Corporation Tax in next year's Budget?
I certainly would not give that assurance. It must follow from the estimates which I have already given concerning the rate of Corporation Tax that that rate is based upon allowances as they exist at present. That has been made clear on numerous occasions. In reply to the first part of the question, we have been hoping for discussions with the C.B.I., which have now started, and I do not think that there has been any delay in this matter.
Do we take it from the Chancellor's first answer that no announcement will be made before the Christmas Recess? If so, can he say that the announcement will be made in the House—that is, after the Recess and not during it?
We should like to make the announcement to the House, but, on the other hand, there is pressure to make it as soon as possible. I could not give a definite answer, but if it is possible to make it in the House, we certainly will do so. But it will not be before Christmas.