HC Deb 23 October 1956 vol 558 cc11-2W
Lieut. - Colonel Bromley - Davenport

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the reason for the present wide differentiation between the duties charged on wine imported in cask and bottle, respectively ; and whether, in view of the fact that certain wines must be bottled at a certain age wherever they are lying and that much of the wine imported in cask is liable to be bottled and consumed before it has reached maturity, he will review the present arrangements with a view to restoring the pre-war ratio between the import duties on wines in cask and bottle, respectively.

Mr. H. Macmillan

This differentiation was introduced in 1888 as a means of raising the duty on wines imported in bottle (which were regarded as in general the better quality and more expensive kinds) without making any increase for the rest. For light wines the differential was raised to its present amount in 1949 when, although it was felt that the Exchequer would not afford an all-round reduction of the wine duties, a special reduction was made for light wines imported in cask. I shall be examining the structure of the wine duties in the course of my review of taxation before the next Budget.