HC Deb 14 April 1953 vol 514 c55

Now for Entertainments Duty. I am satisfied that last year's new arrangements are on the right lines and should be continued, but I have some proposals in fulfilment of the undertakings I then gave. I have now found a way of helping amateur sport in general. I shall proceed by reference, not to the status of individuals, but to the purposes of the clubs or other organisations for which they play. On this basis I propose to exempt amateur sport from Entertainments Duty. The exemption will apply to games, races and other sports provided by a club or similar organisation established and conducted for the promotion and furtherance of amateur sport and not conducted or established for profit. It will, of course, be a condition that no remuneration should be paid to anyone actually taking part.

In most sports the amateur definition which I have devised will, I think, work reasonably well, but it will not do for cricket. In this country cricket occupies a special place among sports, not only as forming part of the English tradition but as a common interest helping to bind together the various countries of the Commonwealth. With all this in mind and as the total receipts of Entertainments Duty from cricket are so small, I propose to exempt it from the duty altogether.

I propose at the same time to amend the conditions governing the exemption of amateur dramatic and operatic entertainments, so that exemption will no longer be debarred by reason of the payment of an instructor, producer or manager. A simplification is also being made in the rules for calculating duty on season tickets and similar lump-sum payments for admission to a series of football matches or other entertainments.

These concessions of Entertainments Duty cost very little—about £220,000—and will take effect from 27th April next.