HC Deb 04 February 1943 vol 386 c1132
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Captain Waterhouse)

I beg to move, That the Purchase Tax (Exemptions) (No. 5) Order, 1942, dated 30th December, 1942, made by the Treasury under Section 20 of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1940, a copy of which was presented to this House on 19th January, be approved. The object of this Order is to remove the Purchase Tax from utility furniture. The plan to make utility furniture was designed to ensure that those who need the furniture most, newly-married people and people who have lost their houses by bombing, should get it at the most reasonable price possible. The price at which it is manufactured is controlled at every stage, the margin which goes to the retailer is strictly limited, and everything which can be made has been most carefully supervised. It would seem invidious that a tax should be charged on articles so produced. To many people the purchase of furniture is the largest capital expenditure of their lives, and that is another reason why Purchase Tax should not be charged. I think the House will agree that this is a measure of common sense as well as of necessity, and I hope they will allow the Order to pass.

Mr. Messer (Tottenham, South)

For a long time it has been suggested in the furniture trade that the replacing of furniture of bombed-out people should be free from Purchase Tax. That has not been agreed to until now. I want, therefore, on behalf of those who are interested in this question, to express extreme satisfaction. Those who have made some study of the question are very satisfied indeed with the utility furniture in general. It has been planned and carried out in a way that has met with general satisfaction.

Question put, and agreed to.