HC Deb 11 April 1927 vol 205 cc90-1

Proceeding upon our ascent, step by step and crag by crag, I now come to matches. It will probably be a surprise to many well-informed Members that we have been for many years raising revenue by a strictly orthodox Customs and Excise duty upon matches, the proceeds of which last year amounted to no less than £3,500,000. The British match industry has submitted to me a plan which combines an increase in the Match Duty with an alteration of its basis, which they assure me will be more satisfactory to them in relation to foreign competition than is the existing scheme. I propose accordingly to raise both the Customs and Excise Duties on matches by approximately 20 per cent., and at the same time to replace the existing scale of rates per standard gross of 10,000 matches by a scale graduated according to the contents of the box. Thus the Customs Duty upon matches imported in boxes containing more than 20 but not more than 50 matches will be 4s. 4d. per gross of boxes and the countervailing Excise Duty will be 4s. 2d. The full particulars will be found in the White Paper. The proposal will come into force to-morrow, and is estimated to yield £600,000 this year, and £700,000 in a full year. [HON. MEMBERS: "Additional?"] Yes.