• Short Summary

    Mr. Anthony Barber, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced new taxes on higher income tax?

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    MV Fruit and vegetable stall

    SV TILT DOWN Refrigerators in shop, advertising low deposits (3 shots)

    SV TILT DOWN Window of travel agency (2 shots)

    CU Barber speaking

    MR. BARBER: "But now, on top of that, as if we didn't have enough troubles, some of our own people, the coal miners and some railway men, have chosen this moment to take their deliberate action. And that means a much worse loss of fuel than anything that has happened on oil, and the result is to put the country on a these-day week with all that means in terms of unemployment, short-time and, of course, loss of production.

    "Well, you may ask, why not settle these industrial disputes? Why not just pay up and get back to normal? But, you know, it isn't as easy as that. If we paid over the odds this time, what would be the lesson everyone would learn? They would learn that the way to get more money is to disrupt the nation. Over the months and years ahead, we would get far more strikes and a far, far faster rise in prices and in the long run, much grater damage to our economy."

    Initials BB/00315 AS/DW/BB/3000


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Mr. Anthony Barber, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced new taxes on higher income tax brackets and on property speculators as part of a programme to bet the nation's biggest economic crisis in nearly 30 years.

    The "mini-budget" was presented to a crowded House of Commons of Monday afternoon. Mr. Barber said he planned to reduce public and private spending by 1,200 million sterling (3 billion dollars U.S.) a year. The Chancellor ordered a sharp reduction in credit facilities, hire purchase, bank loans and credit cards, as well as calling for a twenty per cent reduction in investment programmes by government departments.

    The "mini-budget" came as the second part of a government programme to beat the current economic crisis, brought on by a large national trade deficit coupled with an oil shortage and industrial disputes in the mines and railways. Last Thursday (13 December) the Prime Minister, Mr. Edward Heath, ordered most of the industry to fall back on a three-day working week from the beginning of the New year, unless the fuel shortage had been alleviated.

    In a national television address, Mr. Barber spoke of the labour disputes that are affecting the country:

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