HC Deb 20 February 1958 vol 582 cc1386-7
34. Mr. Rankin

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the cost of total abolition of the cinema tax calculated on the present basis of attendance at cinemas.

Mr. Simon

I cannot give an estimate of the cost of abolishing the Entertainments Duty on cinemas in advance of my right hon. Friend's Budget statement.

Mr. Rankin

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the President of the Board of Trade, in a written reply to me earlier this week, said that the Government expected that cinema attendances would be down by 18 per cent. for 1957? Would that not then represent a fall in taxation yield of about £5 million and therefore represent a recruitment to the Exchequer of £25 million? Can the Chancellor do proportion, and is my proportion correct?

Mr. Simon

The matter is not quite as simple as that, because the fall in admissions has been partly offset by an increase in seat prices.