HC Deb 13 February 2004 vol 418 c121W
Mr. Carmichael

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a decision on the introduction of strip stamps on bottles of spirits before the Comptroller and Auditor General completes his review of the level of spirit duty fraud. [155913]

Angus Robertson

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the remit is of the National Audit Office investigation into Customs and Excise estimates of duty diversion on spirits; what the timescale of the inquiry to report is; and whether the Treasury will implement its plans on strip stamps before the NAO conclusions are published. [155842]

John Healey

I refer the hon. Gentlemen to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland on 12 February 2004,Official Report, column 1554W. The Chancellor announced in the Pre-Budget Report that the Government intends to introduce tax stamps for spirits as part of a reinforced strategy, to tackle alcohol fraud. However, the Government has also invited the industry to put forward alternative proposals equally effective in tackling fraud. Detailed discussions with the industry on this issue are continuing.

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