§ 5. Mr. Gorst
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give a decision prior to 15th February, 1971 on the coin denomination on which gaming machines licence duty is to be levied so as to enable clubs, public houses and cafés to place orders for new machines for operation on their premises immediately after 209 the date on which new decimal coinage comes into operation.
§ Mr. Maurice Macmillan
This is governed by existing law. The introduction of decimal coinage will not require any change in the licence duty beyond that for penny machines already made by Section 3(4) of the Finance Act, 1970.
§ Mr. Gorst
Will the Chief Secretary bear in mind that the industry hopes that when decimalisation is introduced the new coinage will be pitched for the lower rate at 2p? Will the right hon. Gentleman give an early indication of what the position will be, so as to avoid considerable dislocation in the industry?
§ Mr. Macmillan
The Minister of State has already suggested to the trade interests concerned that it would be more appropriate to consider the structure of the gaming machine licence duty after rather than before the trade's proposals for adapting machines to take decimal coinage are known.
§ Mr. Brian Walden
Will the Chief Secretary bear in mind that that way of doing things is markedly disadvantageous to the trade? The trade would like to know whether there is to be a change in the incidence of duty, because this will affect the machines it orders.
§ Mr. Macmillan
I still think that it is reasonable for the trade to wait to make representations about its proposals before asking for consideration of changes in duty.