HC Deb 16 June 1959 vol 607 cc239-40
42. Mr. G. Jeger

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the resentment felt by deep-sea fishermen at the Purchase Tax charged on their protective clothing; and what reply he sent to the request of the Transport and General Workers' Union that this tax be removed.

Mr. Amory

The union was informed on 6th March that I would bear its representations in mind. But in framing my Budget I did not feel able to single out fishermen's clothing for exceptional exemption from the 5 per cent. rate of Purchase Tax.

Mr. Jeger

Does the right hon. Gentleman sometimes feel ashamed when he thinks of the days when he was Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and paid tribute to the bravery of our deep-sea fishermen, whereas he now exacts tribute from those same fishermen at the rate of 5 per cent. on their boots and oilskins? In view of the fact that the total amount he derives from this taxation must be very small from this small body of industrial workers, will he think again about it and abolish the 5 per cent. tax?

Mr. Amory

No, I cannot say that I feel any shame when I think back to the days to which the hon. Gentleman has referred.