Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Corporate Investment and Production on 12th May 1988.
Mr. Anthony Coombs To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage increases there have been in corporate investment and production between 1983 and 1987 in the United Kingdom; what changes have been made in levels of personal income tax in this period; and what information he has on comparable figures for France.
Mr. Major Between 1983 and 1987 business investment in the United Kingdom increased by 17 per cent. – more than in France where it increased by only 9 per cent. Figures for the growth of output of the United Kingdom corporate sector are not readily available, but over the same period the output of the production industries, which exclude agriculture forestry and fishing construction and services, increased by 11 per cent. in the United Kingdom. In France the corresponding figure was 4¼ per cent.
In 1983–84, the basic rate of income tax was 30p in the pound and it had been reduced to 27p by 1987–88. Comparisons with France are difficult because of the different tax structure. But, over the same period, the scale of personal tax rates in France did not change for most people.