HC Deb 17 May 1956 vol 552 cc2188-9
17. Mr. Gresham Cooke

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the average increase in tax on pipe tobacco expressed in terms of increased tax per ounce.

Mr. H. Brooke

About 2d.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the price of popular brands of pipe tobacco has gone up by 3d. an ounce since the Budget? Has he any information whether there has been an increase in the retailers' margins at the same time as the increase in the tax?

Mr. Brooke

My information is that the price has gone up by 2½d. in some cases and by 3d. in other cases. I understand from statements which have been made that the new prices include at least ½d. additional margin for retail distributors.

Mr. Jay

Would not the tobacco companies also make a large profit on the stocks bought at the old prices?

Mr. Brooke

This Question solely concerns the retail prices.