HC Deb 05 April 1951 vol 486 cc24-5W
53. Sir W. Darling

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that the addition of Purchase Tax to carriage and packing has the effect of reducing agreed price margins and thereby places small traders in rural areas at a disadvantage with their competitors in centres of population; and if he will take steps to remedy this position.

Mr. Jay

The provision for computing Purchase Tax on the value inclusive of carriage and packing charges was based on the consideration that most goods subject to the tax are sold on these terms and special adjustment for these items would therefore be avoided in most cases. There is nothing in Purchase Tax law which prevents a retailer from recovering on resale the full tax charged and where trade price maintenance rules preclude the passing on of special carriage and packing charges and the tax thereon, this would be a matter between the traders concerned. I am afraid that it would not be possible to assess the tax on any different basis without entailing practical difficulties for the great majority of traders.

Squadron Leader Burden

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now review Purchase Tax on carpets and rugs with a view to reducing the present rate.

Mr. Jay

I cannot anticipate my right hon. Friend's Budget Statement.