HC Deb 06 April 1950 vol 473 cc1362-3
53. Mr. Black

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will reduce the Purchase Tax of 66⅔ per cent. to which cameras and photographic apparatus are subject, in view of the fact that roulette boards, pin tables and similar articles are subject to a Purchase Tax of only 33⅓ per cent.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Douglas Jay)

I cannot anticipate my right hon. and learned Friend's Budget statement.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

While realising that the hon. Gentleman cannot disclose what will be said on 18th April, may I ask if he can give an assurance that this year there will be adequate facilities for discussion of the Purchase Tax during the Committee stage of the Finance Bill?

Mr. Jay

No, I can give no assurance in advance.

Mr. W. Fletcher

Does the hon. Gentleman think that this difference is forcing people to take the "chance of a lifetime"?

Mr. Jay

The House decided in 1948 to reduce the tax on games requisites because it did not wish to see them too severely taxed.

Mrs. Mann

Would my hon. Friend urge the Chancellor to make clear in his Budget statement where the incidence of Purchase Tax really falls, and will he bear in mind that Members opposite both on the platform—

Mr. Speaker

That question relates to the tax as a whole, whereas the Question on the Paper deals only with pin tables, roulette boards and similar articles.

Sir John Mellor

As the Treasury has power to make this reduction by Statutory Order, does the hon. Gentleman think it quite fair to give the stock answer about not anticipating the Budget?

Mr. Jay

Yes, I think it is perfectly fair at this stage.