INTRODUCTION: The British government on Tuesday (29 March) offered a billion pounds sterling cut in taxes in return for more wage restraint in the coming year.
SV British Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Healey leaving Downing Street residence with budget brief case held aloft.
SEMI CU INT. Healey speaking.
SV EXT Pre-budget posters in shop window.
CU Road fund licence on car windscreen.
SV Motorist by petrol pump at service station.
SV Budget reactions form people in London street and cab driver. (3 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: KENDALL: "In his budget Mr. Healey is giving back more income tax than forecast. But about half of it depends on a new pay deal. He's taking away more money from cigarette smokers and car owners."
(SEQ. 2) HEALEY: "In the long run there's only one way to beat unemployment. We have to produce more and we have to sell more, both at home and abroad. And that means a lot of things -- taking more pride in our work. We have to make British best, as it used to be. But above all it means keeping our costs and prices down. And that's really what this budget is all about. The cuts in income tax I've made should make everyone feel it's worthwhile putting more into their work, and worthwhile getting agreement on another round of pay policy when this one runs out. And I know that that's what the country needs. Because we can't hope to beat inflation or unemployment if we have another free-for-all, if we have a wage explosion and we start paying ourselves again in confetti. You know what that means... the weakest goes to the wall and into the dole queue.
(SEQ. 6) VISNEWS REPORTER PETER WHITTLE: "The Chancellor has reduced income tax slightly, but he's increased the charges on cigarettes and petrol and he's put up road fund licences."
WOMAN: "Road fund I don't disagree with but petrol and cigarettes -- that always happens anyway. Hit the poor old smoker."
MAN: "I think it's a horrible budget."
WHITTLE: "You drive a car or smoke, do you?"
MAN: "I smoke. Drive a car and drink. The poor working man's got no chance."
WHITTLE: "As a London taxi driver, what do you think of the budget?"
TAXI DRIVER: "Bleeding rubbish. Rubbish to anyone. Can't do anyone good, that, can it? No good to the working man at all. You know. Expect it now, though, don't you? You know, what else do you expect? There you go."
A cut in income tax rate from 35 per cent to 33 per cent is conditional on a continued fall in the rate of inflation which Mr. Healey said stood a good chance of falling below 10 per cent by the middle of next year. The Chancellor also promised to spend and extra 100 million pounds sterling a year on projects to relieve unemployment which now affects about 5.6 per cent of the workforce. However in general he warned that unemployment was more likely to go up over the next year than down.
Initials VS 3.30
REPORTER: PETER WHITTLE
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: The British government on Tuesday (29 March) offered a billion pounds sterling cut in taxes in return for more wage restraint in the coming year. The offer was announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Healey when he delivered his annual budget to the House of Commons. As well as the conditional offer, Mr. Healey announced immediate tax cuts worth 500 million pounds sterling, with no strings attached. The cuts are designed to encourage trade unions to agree to a third year of wage restraint, beginning in August. The BBC's Kenneth Kendall sums it up, and the Chancellor gives the government's view.
SYNOPSIS: The tax concessions are partly balanced by increased consumer prices, such as cigarettes -- four pence more for 20. Road fund licence go up by 10 a year, and petrol by five pence a gallon. Here's how some Londoners reacted.