HC Deb 21 March 1963 vol 674 cc563-4
35. Mr. Short

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the cost of removing Purchase Tax from bicycles, motor cycles, motor scooters and mopeds, respectively.

Mr. du Cann

The annual costs are estimated to be of the order of £1¾million for pedal cycles, £½ million for scooters, £½ million for mopeds, and £1¾ million for other motor bicycles.

Mr. Short

In view of that Answer and the fact that I know that the Economic Secretary to the Treasury has seen a deputation from this industry, may I ask whether the hon. Gentleman would see to it that his right hon. Friend knows of the difficulties which are being experienced by the industry at present, and in particular that no fewer than six factories have had to close in the last eighteen months? In view of this, and the fact that the industry is one of our best export industries, exporting no less than £26 million worth last year, is there not a good case for easing up on Purchase Tax on these commodities?

Mr. du Cann

As the hon. Member says, my hon. Friend the Member for Stockport, North (Sir N. Hulbert) recently brought a deputation to see me. I listened most carefully to all they had to say and reported upon it to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I am sure that my right hon. Friend will bear it in mind.

Mr. Hilton

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that to remove or to reduce the Purchase Tax on these forms of vehicle would be of great benefit to those who live in rural areas where they are often denied public transport? Will the hon. Gentleman have a word with the Chancellor of the Exchequer to see whether at least a reduction cannot be made in the Purchase Tax on these vehicles?

Mr. du Cann

I note what the hon. Member has said, but I cannot comment further only thirteen days before the Budget, as I know the hon. Member will understand.

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