HC Deb 24 March 1955 vol 538 cc2262-3
37. Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why his regulations permit those who go to see an artiste performing at a restaurant, details of which have been sent to him, to do so without paying Entertainments Duty, whereas those going to see this artiste at a theatre will be obliged to pay such duty; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. H. Brooke

Entertainments Duty is charged on payments for admission to entertainments. When there is no payment for admission to an entertainment, whether at a restaurant or elsewhere, liability for duty does not arise.

Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport

Is it not very unfair to think that if next month the wage earner wants to see Maurice Chevalier at the Palace Theatre he has to pay Entertainments Duty through the nose for the privilege, whilst rich capitalists can stuff themselves to the gills at the Ivy and then totter down the street to see the same artiste at the Cafe de Paris and pay no Entertainments Duty at all? Is not this sort of thing done very frequently by Her Majesty's Opposition, and should not this tax be removed?

Mr. Brooke

It would be rather invidious to attempt to answer the latter part of the question, but my hon. and gallant Friend has called attention to an interesting point to which consideration will be given. I can say no more than that.