The man in charge of Britain's economy, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Dennis Healey, announced heavy new tax increases on Tuesday (26 March) as Part of a wide-ranging budget to meet the country's gravest post-war financial crisis.
GV Buses crossing Westminster Bridge PAN to Houses of Parliament
SV Commuters leaving Charing Cross railway station
CU Newspaper bill-board "Cabinet hears Budget Secrets"
GV Ministers arriving at Houses of Parliament (2 shots)
GV (Later in the day) Public lining up outside Parliament
GV Crowds outside 11, Downing Street PAN TO newsmen
CU Old lady in crowd
SV ZOOM INTO CU Mr. Healey leaves residence carrying dispatch box which he hold up for photographers
GV Exterior ZOOM INTO SV 11, Downing
SUPER "Rt. Hon. Dennis Healey MP" "From No. 11 Downing Street
CU Mr. Healey speaking
MR. HEALEY: "Even before the three-day week, we finished up last year with growing wider every month. You probably remember, everybody agreed that it was the gravest situation since the War -- and that was before that tragic and unnecessary three-day week. I think everybody knows we can't go on like this. Someone has got to take a grip on the situation. And that's what I am trying to do. The way I look at it is this; within a few years time, oil will start flowing in from around our shores. And a lot of our problems will be that much easier. So the job is to get from here to there without either our economy of our society breaking down, and there seemed to be a real risk of both only a few weeks ago. We can't transform the situation overnight, but we do have to start making a impact on it right away."
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Background: The man in charge of Britain's economy, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Dennis Healey, announced heavy new tax increases on Tuesday (26 March) as Part of a wide-ranging budget to meet the country's gravest post-war financial crisis.
The measures were outlined to a crowded House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon by the Chancellor. The new taxes, on income and consumer items ranging form liquor to petrol and tobacco, should raise 1,400 million sterling (3,360 million U.S. dollars) a year.
There were also increases in welfare benefits for the poor and elderly, which will cost an extra 700 million sterling (1,880 million U.S. dollars).
He also announced that the price of steel was to go up by 25 percent immediately, and utility charges and postal and telecommunication rates will be increased.
In Brussels, Common Market officials reacted calmly to curbs on British investments in the community, announced by Mr. Healey during the budget speech. The curbs, which will also apply to sterling area countries, are aimed at cutting back capital exports by requiring British businessmen investing outside Britain to raise the money they need by borrowing abroad.
On Wednesday evening Mr. Healey went on television to explain why he had to take such measures.
SYNOPSIS: On Wednesday, Britain's newly elected Labour government presented its first budget to the nation. It was a wide-ranging programme including new tax increases, aimed at curing the country economic ills.
The tax increases will effect every Briton. Soon, these Londoners will be paying more for their railway fares, more for their telephones, electricity, petrol and a wide range of consumer goods. Members of Parliament arrived early in the day to get seats to hear the Chancellor of the Exchequer Dennis Healey outline his economic programme that's adding just under one and a half thousand million pounds to the nation's tax bill.
As usual, there were long lines outside Parliament for public seats inside the Commons. The budget came on the same day that a record trade deficit was announced, and the pound fell against other currencies on foreign money markets.
There were also large crowds outside number eleven Downing Street -- the Chancellor's official residence. Some of them will benefit from increases in Welfare payments announced by the Chancellor during his afternoon speech.
Following the tradition set by Chancellors before him, Mr. Healey left number eleven for Parliament carrying the familiar battered dispatch box containing his budget speech. And it may be a scene that will be repeated later this year -- Mr. Healey told Parliament there would be a second budget before the end of the year.
After he had delivered his speech to a packed House of Commons, Mr. Healey went on television on Wednesday evening to tell the British people why he had taken the stiff measures he had announced that afternoon.