HC Deb 02 June 1960 vol 624 cc1616-7
19. Mr. Hilton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the percentage of Purchase Tax charged on the wholesale value of go-karts used for racing purposes in this country.

Mr. Barber

Go-karts are taxable at 50 per cent. of their wholesale value.

Mr. Hilton

Is it not the fact that other articles of sports equipment, such as tennis racquets, hockey sticks, football gear and the like are not subject to the tax? As go-kart racing is comparatively new and mainly a working-man's sport, will he consider reducing or removing Purchase Tax from go-karts to bring them into line with other sporting articles? Will he also bear in mind that the manufacture of these go-karts is a most useful light industry and would be encouraged if Purchase Tax were removed?

Mr. Barber

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer answered a Question on this subject, asked of him by my hon. Friend the Member for Newbury (Sir A. Hurd) on 10th May. My right hon. Friend said in his Answer that he did not feel able to recommend a reduction in the rate of tax on go-karts, and I am afraid that I cannot go further than that.

Mr. Woodnutt

Would my hon. Friend ask my right hon. Friend the Chancellor to consider this matter again? Is he aware that this is a very new industry in this country and that a 50 per cent. rate of Purchase Tax makes it extremely difficult for it to become established? Is he further aware that this industry is starting in areas of high unemployment, that there is a large potential export market, and that this high rate of Purchase Tax is reducing home sales, reducing production, and making it very difficult to reduce manufacturing costs in order to compete with the longer-developed American market?

Mr. Barber

I will certainly convey my hon. Friend's observations to the Chancellor, but I must repeat that only a few weeks ago my right hon. Friend had an opportunity to consider the matter and to express views on it.