HC Deb 20 May 1960 vol 623 cc153-4W
Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why the allowances for business expenditure on wines, spirits, and cider, etc., has been raised from 5 to 10 per cent., as stated in National Income and Expenditure, 1959, page 68; and what allowance for business expenditure was used when arriving at the figure for consumers' expenditure, 1938, which appeared in the Blue Book for 1958.

Sir E. Boyle

This change was introduced in the National Income Blue Book for 1956 and the reference to it in the 1959 Blue Book is repeated merely for the convenience of the reader. It was stated in "National Income Statistics: Sources and Methods" (page 112) that the 5 per cent. allowance then in use "is probably too small", and it was in pursuance of this thought that the revision was made. It should be pointed out, however, that no information is available on actual business expenditure on this item and that the allowance does not purport to be an estimate of business expenditure as such but is merely a rough adjustment made in the process of estimating consumers' expenditure. The revised figure of 10 per cent. has been used in the estimates for all post-war years, but in view of the other uncer- tainties in the 1938 figures the original 5 per cent. has not been changed for that year.