§ Mr. Doig
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why claims for relief from Purchase Tax under Section 21 of the Purchase Tax Act, 1963, for goods imported for non-commercial scientific, educational or cultural purposes are sometimes refused; and why claims for import duty relief are allowed under the Import Duties Act, 1958, in similar circumstances.
§ Mr. Taverne
The import duties in question are protective duties, the waiver of which puts imports on the same footing as British goods, and accords with the terms of an international agreement under which British exports obtain reciprocal benefits in other countries. Purchase tax on imports is however a revenue tax which countervails the tax on home products and is outside the scope of the agreement: tax waiver limited to imported goods could give foreign suppliers an advantage over British suppliers and positively encourage imports. Tax waiver on imports can therefore only be allowed exceptionally in cases where there is no risk of inequity or harm to the home economy.