HC Deb 15 December 1970 vol 808 cc1108-9
27. Mr. John Hannam

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total amount paid in selective employment tax by the hotel and catering industry during the year 1969–70 and the total grants paid for developments under the Tourism Development Act during the same period.

Mr. Maurice Macmillan

There are difficulties in making a worth-while estimate of the net cost for a year (like 1969–70) in which there is a tax change, but I estimate that the net cost of S.E.T. to the hotel and catering industry would be between £35 and £40 million in a full year at current rates. As regards the Tourism Development Act, the information is available in the Reports of the Tourist Boards.

Mr. Hannam

Does my hon. Friend agree that this industry, which is vital and likely to become the single largest industry by 1975, should be treated fiscally as an industry and should therefore receive selective employment tax refunds and depreciation allowances on new buildings?

Mr. Macmillan

Selective employment tax is discriminatory and anomalous as it is, and further selective relief in advance of abolition would make it worse. That is why we do not propose to tackle selective employment tax piecemeal.