HC Deb 26 February 1957 vol 565 cc1030-1
30. Dr. Broughton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what sum of money has been received by the Treasury from the Purchase Tax on wool textiles during twelve months up to the latest convenient date.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Separate figures for the tax on wool textiles as a class are not available.

Dr. Broughton

Is the Chancellor aware that there is no Purchase Tax on textiles made of cotton or synthetic fibres and that the imposition of this tax on textiles made of wool is very much resented? Will he not forgo this comparatively small amount of revenue in order to remove an unjust discrimination against wool textiles, allow fair competition, and put an end to a serious grievance?

Mr. Thorneycroft

This Purchase Tax was levied in this way because at the time, when there was a very substantial reduction in Purchase Tax on textiles, it became evident that from an administrative point of view it would be difficult to have a dual tax, which is normally a feature of textile Purchase Tax—namely, a higher rate on piece goods and a lower rate on manufactured goods—because of the difficulty of collection. It was therefore decided at the time—and the point was argued very widely—that the 10 per cent. tax was the right one.

Mr. Rhodes

Does the right hon. Gentleman regard this tax as a revenue tax or a penal tax?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I certainly would not regard it as a penal tax.