HC Deb 27 March 1956 vol 550 cc1962-3
36. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will take steps to ensure that the incidence of entertainment tax falls equally and equitably on all forms of sport, whether amateur or professional.

Mr. H. Macmillan

I will bear the right hon. and learned Member's suggestion in mind, but I cannot anticipate my Budget statement.

Mr. Henderson

While not expecting the Chancellor to anticipate his Budget statement, may I ask whether it is not a fact that Entertainments Duty is having a crippling effect upon many forms of professional sport, and that a number of professional football clubs are today faced with bankruptcy? Therefore, will the Chancellor of the Exchequer not at least undertake to re-examine this problem very carefully?

Mr. Macmillan

Yes, Sir, I will carefully examine it.

Captain Duncan

Would my right hon. Friend not agree that equality may not necessarily be equitable?

Mr. Bowles

Might not the Chancellor be able to do this if he took adequate steps in his next Budget to see that members of the entertainment profession did not owe hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Income Tax authorities? Robert Newton has died owing about £36,000 Income Tax.

Mr. Dugdale

Will the Chancellor give at least as much consideration to football as was given by his predecessor to cricket?

Mr. Shinwell

And to boxing?

Mr. Macmillan

Far be it from me to distinguish between these admirable sports.

Mr. Gordon Walker

Does the right hon. Gentleman not feel that the time has come when Entertainments Duty on sport should be abolished altogether?

Mr. Macmillan

I repeat that I must not be asked to anticipate my Budget statement.