British Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) Denis Healey presented his 1975 Spring Budget to Parliament on Tuesday (15 April).
GVS Healey out of No. 11 Downing Street, holds up despatch box to crowd. (2 shots)
SCU Healey speaks to nation in English.
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 2: HEALEY: "When the Government first get into office, just over a year ago, we all set ourselves targets.....to get Britain moving up again in the international league table, and to start paying our way in the world. We knew it would be tough. And we ail warned you there wouldn't be much room for raising living standards until we got it straight. And we believed that people would accept the necessary sacrifice, providing they knew it would be fairly shared. In fact, by the end of last year, the average man and women was getting the equivalent of about a thousand pounds a year in what's sometimes called the social wage--that is to say things like pensions, subsidies, education and health....things from which--in the and--every single family gets some direct benefit. And, towards the end of the year, I took special steps to see that people didn't lost their jobs simply because the firms they worked i had no money to employ them. And that's one reason why now, at a time when there are over eight million unemployed in the United States, we in Britain--suffering from the same world recession--have still a long way under a million out of work".
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This film includes an extract from Mr. Healey's broadcast to the nation on Tuesday night;
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: British Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) Denis Healey presented his 1975 Spring Budget to Parliament on Tuesday (15 April).
In a broadcast to the nation on Tuesday evening he called it a "rough," tough Budget".
Britons had been expecting extra taxes on luxury goods--and they were duly made.....from cigarettes and drinks to fur coats and jewellery....in an effort to cut a yawning deficit in the nation's treasury accounts.
He said that without new taxes the gap between government spending and government revenue in the coming year was threatening to reach an enormous 9,000 million pounds sterling....roughly a third of all government expenditure.
Mr. Healey said Britain's inflation was threatening to leave the country sharply worse off then other wester nations. He blamed the situation on largely excessive wage increases....he said some pay settlements had far outstripped government guidelines.
The Chancellor announced a rise in general income tax: the basic rate goes up from 33 per cent to 35 per cent.
One of the sharpest taxation increases was in the rate of value Added Tax (VAT), which applies to most gods and services. The standard VAT rate of eight per cent was raised to 25 per cent on all items considered in the "luxury class". This includes radio and television sets, recording equipment, boats, aircraft, caravans, cameras, binoculars, furs and jewellery.
Drinkers and smokers also suffered heavily.....with an increase of seven pence on a standard packet of cigarettes (bringing the price up to about 40 pence a packet) and 64 pence on a bottle of spirits (raising the supermarket price of whisky to around 3 pounds 20 pence a bottle).
This was Mr. Healey's fourth Budget in just over a year. He pre enter it against a sombre background which includes inflate on of around 20 per cent annually, unemployment of more than 8 0,000 and a severe balance-of-payments-deficit.