HC Deb 16 April 1957 vol 568 c1731
17. Mr. Swingler

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer his estimate of the annual yield of the reduced Purchase Tax on pottery; and for what purpose this tax has been retained.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

About £2¾ million: like other household goods pottery must continue to make a contribution to the revenue.

Mr. Swingler

Whilst not wishing the Chancellor to commit himself completely at this stage, may I ask whether he is not aware that the incidence of this tax has been wholly bad in its result? Is he aware that it has not stimulated pottery exports and that it has caused unemployment and short-time working to spread? Why do good by halves? Why not go the whole hog and abolish the tax?

Mr. Thorneycroft

There is always an attractive case for abolishing any tax, but some contribution must be made from this source.

Mr. Gordon Walker

Is the right hon. Gentleman taking steps to ensure that the reduction in this tax is passed on to the consumer—the purchaser?

Mr. Thorneycroft

If the housewife does not find it passed on in one shop, I recommend her to try another.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Is the main purpose of the tax to produce revenue or to reduce consumption?

Mr. Thorneycroft

The main purpose of Purchase Tax generally is that it is an important contribution to revenue.