HC Deb 26 February 1906 vol 152 cc763-4
MR. PIKE PEASE (Darlington)

To ask Mr. Chancellor of Exchequer, whether he is aware that the amount of revenue received for taxes on food and drink, both Excise and Customs, during the last twenty years amounts approximately to £800,000,000; and whether he would consider the advisability of reducing the taxes on food by inaugurating a system of taxation, averaging 5 per cent., ad valorem, on imports, as introduced into India by a Liberal Government; if not, whether he would consider the question of a 5 per cent. tax on manufactured goods in place of the present taxes on cocoa and some other articles of general consumption.

(Answered by Mr. Asquith.) I am aware that the revenue from taxes on food and drink has amounted during the last twenty years to approximately the amount mentioned by the hon. Member. By far the greater part of that revenue has been derived from taxes on alcohol in various forms. The hon. Member will not expect me to deal with specific proposals for altering taxation in anticipation of the Budget statement.