HC Deb 12 December 1945 vol 417 cc385-6
16. Commander Noble

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that naval officers have to pay Purchase Tax on articles of clothing, etc., bought from the paymaster, while ratings can obtain the same articles tax free; and what is the reason for this anomaly.

Mr. Alexander

Yes, Sir. The reason for this difference is that naval ratings are entitled to be clothed at the expense of the Crown, whereas officers are not. The addition of Purchase Tax to the prices at which clothing is sold to naval ratings would involve a corresponding addition to the money allowance known as kit up keep allowance which is paid to them to cover the cost of maintenance of their kit. Such an arrangement would result in administrative complications with no gain to the Crown.