HC Deb 26 November 1968 vol 774 cc286-7
22. Mr. St. John-Stevas

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will introduce a value-added tax and abolish Purchase Tax in his next Budget.

Mr. Diamond

I cannot comment in advance on the contents of my right hon. Friend's next Budget.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Would not an undertaking by the right hon. Gentleman today do something to counteract the deplorable effect on our relations with our European allies caused by the patronising arrogance with which the Chancellor is reported to have behaved in Bonn?

Mr. Diamond

I am unaware of those reports. I can only say that my right hon. Friend is incapable of behaving with arrogance.

Mr. Barnett

As the recent report did not in any substantial way contradict the exhaustive findings of the Richardson Committee, would not my right hon. Friend agree that it would perhaps be better to try to convince Europe that it would be better for them to revert to purchase tax?

Mr. Diamond

That would be an easier task if the countries my hon. Friend has in mind had ever adopted the purchase tax system. It is necessary for all of us, in order to understand the different views taken by different countries, to realise what previous methods of taxation they respectively used.