HC Deb 05 March 1970 vol 797 cc606-7
16. Mr. Channon

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when the information on which to base an overall estimate of the increasing cost attributable to selective employment tax of the performing arts will be available.

Miss Jennie Lee

Further study since I last replied to the hon. Member on 19th January has shown that available information does not permit of an accurate assessment of the effect of selective employment tax in this complex and heterogeneous field.—[Vol. 794, c. 43–4.]

Mr. Channon

Does the Minister agree that apart from the more complicated aspects the commercial theatre in particular has suffered a very serious blow as a result of selective employment tax? Will she do her utmost to persuade the Chancellor of the Exchequer at least to relax the tax on the commercial theatre?

Miss Lee

Most of the theatres for which we are primarily concerned, together with the Arts Council and so on, are charities. Therefore, they are not affected in this way. Of course, we want the commercial theatre to be as successful as possible. I am sure that what the hon. Gentleman has said will be noted. This is a very complex and difficult field.