HC Deb 03 December 1963 vol 685 c961
18. Mr. Tapsell

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of declining home sales, he will reduce the Purchase Tax on bicycles.

Mr. Maudling

I would refer my hon. Friend to the Answer which my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary gave on 26th November to the hon. Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Whitlock).

Mr. Tapsell

While considering this matter, as my right hon. Friend said he would in that Answer, may I ask whether he will bear three considerations in mind? First, there is the considerable contribution which the bicycle industry makes to our exports and the fact that this continued contribution depends on a prosperous home market, co where sales have fallen by 50 per cent, since 1955. Secondly, 90 per cent, of all bicycles exported, at a value of £ 26 million last year, were manufactured in my constituency and the nearly 10,000 workers in the industry are very concerned about their future if the decline of home sales continues. Thirdly, action is required before the Budget.

Mr. Maudling

I will take note of what my hon. Friend says.

Mr. W. Clark

Will my right hon. Friend also remember that if it is fair and right to give a reduction in Purchase Tax to the motor industry because of a good export record, the same principle could be applied to the bicycle industry which, as I am sure he will an agree, has a first-class export record? Will he look at it in that light?

Mr. Maudling

I will do so, but that is a slightly hypothetical question.