§ 2. Mr. Sheldon
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what changes he proposes in the selective employment tax as a result of the report of Professor Reddaway.
§ Mr. William Rodgers
Professor Reddaway's first report will be published in the first week of March. It covers the effects of S.E.T. on the wholesale and retail distributive trades. Any major changes in the operation of the tax would be a matter for the Budget.
§ Mr. Sheldon
I welcome that news, but has my hon. Friend yet had a chance of perusing the report? Secondly, will the full details of the report, together with the views of the Treasury, be available before the Budget, or before a possible debate on this important matter?
§ Mr. Rodgers
The answer to the first part of the question is "Yes". In reply to the second part of the question, I must ask my hon. Friend to await the Budget.
§ Mr. Milne
I thank my hon. Friend for giving the date of the appearance of the report, but is not he aware that action was taken in the last Budget in relation to selective employment tax without there being a report? Cannot we look at the Reddaway Report against the background of the purposes for which it was intended, and do something before the Budget without necessarily involving a change in the tax?
§ Mr. Rodgers
I am at one with my hon. Friend on the first part of the question. We should look at the Reddaway Report and weigh all that it has to say, but in the circumstances I do not think I can add further to the prospect of steps being taken.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
Could the Minister of State say whether it is the Chancellor's present intention to make a statement to the House at the time of publication?