HC Deb 20 November 1958 vol 595 cc1306-7
17. Dr. King

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the estimated revenue this year from Purchase Tax on new cathode ray tubes and on replacement cathode ray tubes, respectively.

Mr. Erroll

The estimated revenue in 1958–59 from the Purchase Tax on cathode ray tubes taxed as such is £1½ million. I regret that no separate estimates for new tubes and for replacement tubes are available.

Dr. King

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the replacement of cathode ray tubes is about the biggest bugbear of T.V. and weighs heavily upon the poorest people? As full Purchase Tax is already paid on television sets, will the hon. Gentleman give consideration to the question of relieving poor people of this burden by withdrawing Purchase Tax on replacement tubes?

Mr. Erroll

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would not expect me to anticipate my right hon. Friend's Budget statement.

40 Mr. V. Yates

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he is aware that British Red Cross badges manufactured by Messrs. J. R. Gaunt and Son Limited, Birmingham are tax free whereas badges manufactured for St. John Ambulance carry 30 per cent. Purchase Tax; and whether he will take steps to remove this anomaly;

(2) why membership badges for the National Union of Municipal and General Workers carry Purchase Tax if supplied with a stick-on pin instead of a brooch pin, which is tax free;

(3)why membership badges supplied to the Girl Guides Association are tax free whilst badges for the Brownies carry 30 per cent. Purchase Tax; and whether he will take steps to remove the additional burden imposed on the latter.

Mr. Erroll

Badges of base metal are chargeable with tax at 30 per cent. if they fall within the description of "tie-pins and similar articles". Other base metal badges, if not available for general sale, are free of tax.

Mr. Yates

How can the hon. Gentleman justify a badge like this, a St. John Ambulance Brigade badge, bearing 30 per cent. tax when Red Cross badges are tax-free? Is that not absolutely ridiculous? There can be no reason whatever why there should be that distinction. Further, will the hon. Gentleman ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was previously a Scout master, whether he can justify a badge for the Brownies bearing 30 per cent. tax when one for the Girl Guides is tax-free? Why this discrimination against the little girls?

Mr. Erroll

If there is discrimination it is because we desire to be consistent. I am only sorry that my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) is not here to support me in this matter. Perhaps I may put it to the hon. Gentleman another way. Tie-pins are chargeable even if they carry badges. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] Badges are chargeable at the same rate unless they are not available for general sale.