§ Sir A. HOLBROOK
asked the Minister of Transport whether his attention has been called to the effect of existing motor licence duties in certain cases; whether it is within his knowledge that feeling aroused by the imposition of these duties last January has not subsided; whether licence duties were calculated on a basis to secure a certain sum, no provision being made for the additional vehicles which it might have been expected would be manufactured and put into service if the amount of duty were moderated; whether sufficient experience has been gained to enable a statement to be made as to the effect of the duties upon the automobile industry; and whether any indication of relief can be given at this time?
§ Mr. NEAL
Representatives of the motor industry have very freely placed before my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport their views on the effect of the present taxes on their industry. From the information available, he is disposed to believe that they over-estimate both the amount of increased taxation falling on the individual owner of a motor vehicle and the extent to which the new taxes have contributed to the depression from which the motor industry, in common with other industries, is unfortunately at present suffering. The existing licensing and registration duties are substantially those recommended in the Report of the Departmental Committee, which was presented to the House in April, 1920 (Cmd. Paper 660). The Committee were asked to devise a scheme which would produce a certain revenue. Their estimate of the proceeds of the duties, on the information at present before me, seems likely to prove exceedingly accurate. The new duties have not yet been in operation for six months, and sufficient experience has not been obtained of their effect to justify any reduction. If, and when, it should appear that the scale of1266W duties is likely to produce more revenue than is reasonably necessary, the matter of reduction will be favourably considered.