§ Mrs. Mann
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) the amount of Purchase Tax on bed sheets of 40s. per pair and under, and the amount of Purchase Tax on similar articles for 1950–51;
(2) the amount of Purchase Tax on towels under 10s. each, tablecloths under 20s. and the amount charged as Purchase Tax on these items for 1950–51.
§ Mr. R. A. Butler
The amount of Purchase Tax payable on bed sheets, towels and tablecloths depends on their size and weight and on the material of which they are made, was well as on their wholesale value. To take a few common examples, the tax on a pair of cotton bed sheets size 80 inches by 108 inches with a wholesale value of 40s. would be nil; on a cotton terry towel size 30 inches by 54 inches value 9s. 6d. it would be 1s. and on a heavy cotton tablecloth size 54 inches by 72 inches value 19s. 6d. it would be 9d.
In 1950–51, this tablecloth would, if made within the Utility scheme, have been exempt from tax. If not made within the Utility scheme, it would have been taxable at the rate of 66⅔ per cent. of its full wholesale value at that time. The towel and the pair of sheets would each have been taxable at the rate of 66⅔ per cent. of their wholesale value, as I understand that it was not possible to make such sizes of towels or sheets within the Utility scheme.