Clause 15. — (Betting Duty.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Finance Bill. – in the House of Commons on 15th July 1926.

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Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

It is no good my sight hon. Friend shaking his head. I would not make that statement if every conceivable difficulty that could be imagined, and which even cleverer people than my right hon. Friend could imagine, had not been tested and examined. From the moment you admit that the burden, whatever it is, and the man who is hearing the burden will know what it is, is going to be transmitted, as it should be, to the general betting public through an alteration of the odds, it does not make the slightest difference whether it is 2 per cent. or 2.78 per cent. It will be passed on, I dare say, with a little bit more. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] Yes. Show me any tax that is not passed on with a little bit more—we do not live in a world of illusion—to the general consuming public. That is exactly the point in this case.

In the same way these fractions, which look peculiar on paper, will not affect in the least the issue of tickets to bookmakers for the transaction of their business on the racecourse. The bookmaker will buy tickets of the different denominations of 1s., 5s., 10s. and £1 in large numbers. If he buys 1,000, he will pay in a lump sum the duty which has accrued on the whole of the 1,000 tickets, no matter what. the fraction, and he will take that into his working expenses and recover from his customers.