HC Deb 24 November 1970 vol 807 cc222-3
19. Mr. Ashton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will take steps to transfer a part of the revenue he receives from the independent television companies into a fund to be used for consumer protection purposes.

Mr. Maurice MacMillan

No, Sir.

Mr. Ashton

Is it not a greedy, penny-pinching policy to take £24 million from advertising on independent television while refusing to give £250,000 for the protection of consumers who are, in effect, paying for that advertising?

Mr. Macmillan

The Government have already decided that there is no case for continuing the financing of the Consumer Council from public revenue. The method of raising its revenue is totally immaterial to that organisation and hypothecating any particular form of revenue in no way adds to the strength of any particular case.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Would it not be more to the point if the Government considered relieving independent television companies of the crippling burden of taxation, which is threatening, in a number of cases, their continued existence?

Mr. Macmillan

I am aware of that point of view and it is one which will have to be taken into consideration, but I cannot say anything about it at this moment.