HC Deb 17 March 1959 vol 602 cc13-4W
56. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason a canteen of cutlery, mounted on legs, pays Purchase Tax at 5 per cent., whereas a canteen of cutlery, without legs, pays Purchase Tax at 15 per cent.; in what other spheres of Purchase Tax legs are taken into account when determining the rate of Purchase Tax applicable to a legged or unlegged article; and whether he will make a statement setting out precisely his policy as regards legged articles and Purchase Tax.

Mr. Erroll

Cutlery canteens which have legs designed to stand on the floor are chargeable as furniture cabinets; other canteens are not. The cutlery itself is, of course, charged at 15 per cent. in both cases. The Customs look at legs only where their presence, or absence, affects the character of an article.

57. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that Customs and Excise recently ruled that the fitting of a separate plastic handle loop on to a broom handle would cause the entire article to be subject to Purchase Tax at 15 per cent. whereas a broom manufactured in the first place with a plastic handle loop would not he chargeable with Purchase Tax; whether, in future, he will free all spare parts for all manufactured goods from Purchase Tax; and what would be the cost entailed.

Mr. Erroll

I have written to my hon. Friend about this particular ruling. The suggestion in the latter part of his Question would be impracticable.

58. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the recent ruling of the Customs and Excise authorities that a plastic scouring block, used solely as a scourer, is free of Purchase Tax, whereas if the relevant sales literature and advertising indicates that the same article can also be used for cleaning hands, it is classified as a toilet requisite, and attracts Purchase Tax at 60 per cent.; and, in view of the importance both of dietary and personal cleanliness, whether he will now remove all scourers from Purchase Tax irrespective of particular end use.

Mr. Erroll

The distinction mentioned in the first part of the Question has been in force since 1940. The answer to the second part is, "No".