HC Deb 10 April 1962 vol 657 cc1115-6
16. Mr. Wainwright

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will abolish the Purchase Tax on all band instruments manufactured in this country.

Mr. Barber

No, Sir.

Mr. Wainwright

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that his Answer will bring dismay to all bandsmen and their supporters? Is he further aware that the music we got yesterday from the windpipe of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was rather sordid and very insipid? Does not he realise that these instruments, to the professional bandsmen, are just like the tools of the workmen and are necessary to them? Is he also aware that many bandsmen give their services voluntarily and are essential to the social life of our community, especially in the villages? Will the hon. Gentleman therefore do something about removing the 25 per cent. tax on all instruments?

Mr. Barber

I can reply very briefly by saying that it would be quite impossible to differentiate between bandsmen and other musicians in the way suggested by the hon. Gentleman.