HC Deb 23 April 1941 vol 371 c161
54. Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will now consider raising the outfit allowance of young officers on first appointment, as £30 since the introduction of the Purchase Tax is found to be insufficient?

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Captain Crookshank)

The Purchase Tax falls upon all members of the community according to their liability to pay on the purchase of taxed goods, and my right hon. Friend regrets that he would not feel justified in relieving Army officers of such taxation by increasing the amount of the outfit allowance.

Sir A. Knox

Does not my right hon. and gallant Friend agree that £30 is quite insufficient to provide an officer with his outfit, and is he aware that there are complaints from every regiment about this?

Mr. Bellenger

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that, quite apart from the Purchase Tax itself, £30 is at least one-third below the outfit allowance granted to officers during the last war, and will he take an opportunity of consulting serving Members of the House as to the actual cost of fitting themselves out?

(Captain Anstruther-Gray

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that the line he is taking makes it very difficult for soldiers without private means to take commissions?

Captain Crookshank

I can only report to my right hon. Friend what hon. Members have said.

Mr. R. C. Morrison

Will he also report to his right hon. Friend that it does not seem altogether sensible to give Government money for the purchase of officers' uniforms and then to tax that money at the rate of one-third?