HC Deb 02 November 1966 vol 735 cc449-50
30. Mr. MacArthur

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate he has made of the total sum paid in Selective Employment Tax by farmers between 5th September, 1966, and the first repayment date in February, 1967.

Mr. John Mackie

About £8 million.

Mr. MacArthur

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this enormous additional cost is falling on farmers at a time of greatly restricted credit, and does he realise that, because of the repayment procedure, farmers will always be some millions of £s out of pocket until this absurd tax is finally extinguished? Will he now take steps to free agriculture from this unnecessary and irrelevant extra burden?

Mr. Mackie

The answer to the last part of that supplementary question is "No, Sir". In reply to the first part, if one puts the thing in proper perspective, it works out at roughly a little less than 4d. per week per person in interest.