§ 5. Mr. Crouch
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will set up an independent inquiry into the effects of the selective employment tax on the tourist industry with instructions to report in advance of Professor Reddaway.
§ The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Anthony Crosland)
No, Sir. Professor Reddaway's inquiry will cover the hotel and catering industries which are liable to S.E.T., and he has already started work on this part of the inquiry.
§ Mr. Crouch
Does the President of the Board of Trade not think that this industry, which is a growth industry earning this country nearly £400 million a year from overseas tourists, is worthy of more speedy investigation as to the burden of S.E.T.? Is he aware that the Budget proposals will mean that £35 million will be recovered from it in one year? Will he give further thought to a more speedy investigation?
§ Mr. Crosland
There has been a great deal of discussion on this matter in the Committee stage of the Tourism Bill and no doubt there will be more when the Bill comes to Report and Third Reading in the House. I must point out two things. First, not all of the tourism industry by any means is subject to S.E.T. For example, the transport part of the industry is not. Second, whatever the alleged burdens of S.E.T. on the industry, our earnings from tourism continue to rise in the most encouraging way.