§ 72. Mr. Nabarro
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what date, and for what reasons, a limit of £500 per annum in wholesale sales of a particular enterprise was fixed for Purchase Tax exemption; what change in the value of money has taken place since that date; and, having regard to such change, what would be the current exemption level, based on present money values, to give equivalent purpose to the £500 annual exemption level when originally fixed.
The purpose of the exemption is to exclude cases where the cost of collection would, in general, not be worth while. The original exemption limit of £2,000 was reduced to £500 on 3rd November, 1941, following complaints of unfair competition. Despite the change in the value of money, I am38W satisfied that £500 is still the appropriate level for this exemption.
§ 73. Mr. Nabarro
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many different articles were indexed by the Customs and Excise Department as being subject to Purchase Tax prior to the Finance Act of 1958; and what was the change in the number of articles so subject to the tax following the Act.
The variety of articles of commerce is such that no such detailed index exists, or could possibly be compiled.
§ 74. Mr. Nabarro
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why census of distribution forms are provided at Exchequer cost free of Purchase Tax to any company having a statutory liability to complete and render them to the Board of Trade, whereas forms such as annual returns carrying a similar statutory responsibility for completion under the Companies Acts have to be purchased, and Purchase Tax paid; and whether he will now free all forms required to comply with the Statutes from such tax.
The first part of the Question is a matter for my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade. The answer to the second part is in the negative.