§ Mr. Hardy
Did the representations received by the Minister contain any expression of anxiety on this matter? Will he make clear to the House that neither foodstuffs nor the processing and 193 distribution of foodstuffs will incur V.A.T. and that the Government intend to keep the explicit pledges which were given?
§ Mr. Charles Morrison
There are certain items which are now subject to purchase tax, such as potato crisps and chocolate-covered biscuits. Does not my right hon. Friend agree that when the tax system is changed there will be a strong case for the remission of tax on these articles of foodstuffs, except for luxury items?
§ Mr. Barnes
When will an announcement be made on whether food will be exempt from V.A.T. or will receive a zero rating? Does not the Minister agree that this is a matter of the utmost importance? If food is exempt rather than zero-rated, manufacturers will not get back tax paid on machinery, packaging and other inputs into their product, and that could increase the price of food products by as much as 40 per cent. of the rate of V.A.T.