HC Deb 14 October 1952 vol 505 cc18-9
34. Mr. Albu

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has yet made a decision on the introduction of a D Scheme for Purchase Tax on furniture.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The trade has been made aware that it remains the intention of the Government to introduce a D Scheme for domestic furniture. Pending the outcome of discussions with the trade, I can make no further statement.

Mr. Albu

Is the Chancellor aware that there is very great anxiety in the trade particularly about the long time it has taken the Government to make up their minds on this matter and because during the intermediate period they are expecting the imposition of a heavy tax on furniture which will add considerably to the existing difficulties of the trade?

Mr. Butler

There is certainly no desire on the part of the Government to add to the difficulties of the trade. We discussed this matter during the Finance Bill and we have tried to keep the trade informed. Perhaps hon. Members will remember that the outline of a possible scheme was included in the Douglas Report which drew attention to the need of preserving quality while retaining a range of tax-free articles. That remains the general objective, and when discussions are concluded I may be able to say more, but I cannot at present.