HC Deb 21 June 1927 vol 207 c1641

asked the President of the Board of Trade what are the duties, corresponding to the duty of £1 per cent. levied in this country on the capital issues of limited companies, which are levied in the Dominions of Canada and New Zealand, in the Union of South Africa, and in the Commonwealth of Australia, respectively, and also in each of the individual States of the Australian Commonwealth?


So far as can be ascertained from the information immediately available, duties of a character generally similar to the Stamp Duty in this country, to which my hon. Friend refers, are levied in the Union of South Africa and in New South Wales. The amount is, in the Union 5s. per cent., and, in New South Wales, 2s. per cent., with a, maximum duty of £50. Annual licence duties of varying amounts, with a maximum of £200, based on the nominal capital of the company concerned, are levied in New Zealand, and somewhat similar annual taxes are levied in some of the Canadian Provinces.


Does not the right hon. Gentleman consider that the very heavy duties levied on capital issues in this country, as compared with the almost nominal duties levied in the Dominions and the Australian States, constitute a serious handicap to enterprise in this country; and is he aware that the imposition of these heavy duties in this country is compelling companies to float issues in the Dominions which they would prefer to float in this country; and does he consider that it is a good thing from the point of view of the Treasury or of the trade of the country?


The answer to all these questions is, I think, in the negative.