HC Deb 07 December 1965 vol 722 cc232-3
39. Mr. Dance

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the adverse effect that the high rate of Purchase Tax on English cricket balls is having on this craft; and if he will reduce the level of tax.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Niall MacDermot)

Representations have recently been made on this subject and my right hon. Friend will bear them in mind when Purchase Tax is next under review.

Mr. Dance

Is the Financial Secretary aware that the price of a cricket ball now is £3 2s. 9d.—[Laughter.]—and that, as an ordinary cricket club uses two a day in a match—[HON. MEMBERS: "The hon. Gentleman's team would be out before that."]—it is extremely—

Mr. Speaker

Order. This is a serious English question.

Mr. Dance

Does not the hon. and learned Gentleman realise that the present price is quite prohibitive for some of the smaller cricket clubs, which are now being forced to import cheaper balls from abroad, and this is very detrimental to British trade?

Mr. MacDermot

Any reduction in the rate of tax would have to apply to imported no less than to home-produced cricket balls. If I may put it in this way, cricket balls have to be Gattable as well as battable.