HC Deb 16 November 1954 vol 533 cc201-2
22. Mr. Dodds

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in view of the importance of physical fitness to the nation and the need for greater encouragement by the Government, consideration will be given to abolishing or reducing the Purchase Tax on sports accessories and requisites, as well as camping equipment, as this is proving a handicap particularly to young people.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I will bear the hon. Member's suggestion in mind.

Mr. Dodds

Would the Chancellor also bear in mind that this country is sadly lagging behind most other European countries in the encouragement of physical fitness and that Purchase Tax is particularly harmful in that respect?

Mr. Butler

Despite Purchase Tax, we seem to get pretty good results at international gatherings.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Will the Chancellor bear in mind, all the same, that my hon. Friend is right about the provision of facilities for physical recreation? Will he also bear in mind that Purchase Tax bears very heavily on young people and on the lower income groups?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir. I have, of course, studied this matter as closely as I can, and I have studied its effect on camping equipment and that sort of thing. I can only say that "bearing it in mind" means that I am continuing to watch it.