HC Deb 04 May 1885 vol 297 cc1479-80

asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether he is aware that the provisions of the 44 Geo. III. c. 98, requiring (under a penalty of £10) that packets or bottles of drugs, &c. offered for sale at less than one shilling should be sold with a three-halfpenny stamp affixed to them are daily infringed but rarely enforced; with whom rests the power of deciding in what cases the penalty is to be enforced; whether the Government have any intention of remedying, by legislation or otherwise, the evils arising from the uncertainty of practice prevailing with regard to the enforcement of these penalties; and, what amount was realized to the Exchequer in the last financial year or in 1883–4 from the three-halfpenny duty imposed by the above enactment?


The Inland Revenue Board is well aware that the Act referred to is very frequently evaded, as is shown by the numerous penalties which it is found necessary to inflict from time to time. The management of the affairs relating to this and other stamp duties is in the hands of that Board, who have discretion to decide in each case whether the full penalty should be exacted or otherwise. The receipts from the three-halfpenny duty amounted in 1883–4 to £93,500.