Budget defections put Thatcher party on edge
The British government was expected to survive a parliamentary vote on its unpopular budget Monday night despite a revolt in the ranks of the ruling Conservative Party, according to politicians. Up to 20 Conservative members of Parliament threatened either to vote against or abstain on a budget clause that increased taxes on gasoline and raised its price by 15 percent.
Political sources said the chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister), Sir Geoffrey Howe, backed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, would offer no compromises when he would up the budget debate Monday. Mrs. Thatcher's administration has a majority of 44 votes in the House of Commons, and its parliamentary managers said they were confi dent of victory in the vote.