HC Deb 20 January 1953 vol 510 cc19-20
27 Mrs. Mann

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) the number of household articles bearing Purchase Tax today which were free of tax in 1951;

(2) which items of children's furniture are now subject to tax; and what is the tax on each item;

(3) how many items of furniture now carry Purchase Tax which were free of tax prior to the recent order; and by what proportion each item is increased.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Apart from loudspeakers, the only household articles, furniture and children's furniture now taxable which were previously free of tax are those which were within the Utility schemes and have a wholesale value in excess of the respective D relief provided in the Fourth Schedule to the Finance Act, 1952, or in the Purchase Tax (No. 8) Order, 1952. These articles are taxable only on the amount of that excess.

Mrs. Mann

Mr. Speaker, may I ask your guidance regarding the lumping together of these three Questions. because the Chancellor seems to have answered Question No. 35? Household articles are quite apart from items of furniture and include napery and linen and cotton.

Mr. Butler

The point is that after the introduction of the Purchase Tax (No. 8) Order, which applies to furniture, the same principle in regard to items above the D level…which is that those above are taxed and that those below are not…was applied to all these items with the exception of the one which I have specified.

Mr. Gibson

Is it not a fact that, as a result of the D Scheme being applied to furniture, all the furniture bought for normal working-class homes will be considerably dearer?

Mr. Butler

No, precisely the opposite is the case, as I shall hope to explain tomorrow. I will say no more today except that the major part, in fact nearly all of the furniture bought for the more modest homes, will be free of tax.