HC Deb 13 March 1986 vol 93 c1072
9. Mr. Parry

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received from the tobacco industry concerning his forthcoming Budget.

The Minister of State, Treasury (Mr. Peter Brooke)

Representations have been received from the Tobacco Advisory Council, individual companies, employees in the industry and trade union representatives.

Mr. Parry

When the Chancellor considers his Budget proposals, will he bear in mind that most tobacco factories are situated in areas of high unemployment and that more than 60,000 jobs have been lost in the tobacco industry since 1979? Will he tell the health lobby that in the last financial year more than £5 billion was raised through duty and VAT on tobacco products? Is he further aware that 200 Members have sent petitions to the right hon. Gentleman asking that there be no increase on cigarettes higher than the rise in inflation and no increase at all on pipe tobacco?

Mr. Brooke

I cannot anticipate my right hon. Friend's Budget, but industrial implications will obviously be one of the considerations that he will bear in mind.

Sir Kenneth Lewis

Has my hon. Friend asked his right hon. Friend not to increase tobacco duty in the coming Budget by more than the rate of inflation in case he succeeds in killing off the tobacco goose that lays many golden eggs for him?

Mr. Brooke

Again I cannot anticipate my right hon. Friend's Budget, but I am sure that he will take all considerations into account.

Mr. Pavitt

In all those considerations, naturally the Chancellor will be taking into account the health factors. Has he made the calculation that 6p on a packet of cigarettes would produce half the amount of the National Health Service bill for chronic emphysema, carcinoma and chronic bronchitis treated in NHS hospitals?

Mr. Brooke

The representations to which I referred in my answer have also included health interests, and I have been delighted to receive all of them, as has my right hon. Friend.