HC Deb 15 December 1953 vol 522 cc176-7
7. Mr. Mulley

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in view of the difficulties of the industry of which he has received particulars, he will now take steps to reduce the Purchase Tax of 75 per cent. on sterling silver hollow-ware and tableware.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I am considering this question in the light of the information sent me by the hon. Member.

Mr. Mulley

Is the Chancellor not aware of the serious difficulties facing this old craft industry, which may well die out? Is he further aware that there is no retail opposition to a reduction in tax, and does he not think that a reduction will increase the revenue rather than diminish it? For these reasons, will he not at once reduce the tax under the powers which he obtained from the House last June?

Mr. Butler

It is not my practice to announce any tax alterations, either reduction or increase, in advance. I can only say that the case put by the hon. Member is a very sound one.