§ Mr. William Shelton
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps are being taken to bring the collection of excise duties on wines and spirits into line with the practice followed by other members of the EEC, whereby the trade is not obliged to pay taxes on goods before they are sold to the consumer, and thus before the revenue is received with which to pay these taxes.
§ Mr. Robert Sheldon
Draft EEC directives for the harmonisation of the structure of the excise duties were put forward for consideration in 1972, and envisage deferments of this nature. Pending agreement on these proposals, which raise other important issues, and on which little progress has so far been made, the United Kingdom is under no obligation to vary its long-established arrangements.