HC Deb 10 November 1964 vol 701 c808
2. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will remove the Purchase Tax on school pupils' footwear, in view of the apparent anomalies it creates; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Diamond

The greater part of the footwear worn by school pupils is already exempt as young children's clothing. I am afraid that this exemption is bound to be accompanied by anomalies however one attempts to define "a young child". There is little doubt that older persons already benefit in terms of tax relief from the existing favourable definition.

Mr. Dempsey

Is the Minister aware that fixing an arbitrary size of school footwear and imposing Purchase Tax on sizes in excess leads to anomalies whereby, for example, well-built young school pupils are being taxed on footwear while more petite older girls are fully exempted? Is this not an anomaly to which the Minister should apply his mind to removing at the earliest moment?

Mr. Diamond

Certainly anomalies do result, as I have indicated. The trouble is that there is no better definition available.