Cosmetics, Bicycles and Restaurant Meals (Taxation).

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons at on 7 May 1940.

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Mr. Duncan:

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he will state the figures which were supplied to him on which he based his decision that it was not worth while from the revenue point of view to tax cosmetics; and what other reasons there were for his decision;

  1. (2) whether he will state the figures which were supplied to him on which he based his decision that it was not worth while from the revenue point of view to tax bicycles; and what other reasons there were for that decision;
  2. (3) whether he has considered taxing restaurant meals of over 5s. each in price; and why he has decided not to propose a tax on them?

Photo of Mr John Simon Mr John Simon , Spen Valley

The considerations to be weighed in deciding what new taxes should be proposed are numerous and cannot be adequately set out in answer to a Parliamentary Question. Amongst them are the problems of yield, definition, exceptions and administration. I can hardly argue each case at Question Time, but I would refer my hon. Friend to a passage in my Budget speech which refers to the subject.

Mr. Duncan:

Will my right hon. Friend reconsider that answer, in view of the general interest taken by many hon. Members in this question and the fact that the answers so far given, although they have stated that there is nothing in it from the point of view of yield, do not give a real reason or figures to show that that is so?

Photo of Mr Edmund Radford Mr Edmund Radford , Manchester Rusholme

May I ask my right hon. Friend to reconsider the cosmetics tax, not from the point of view of revenue but to limit their use?

Photo of Mr John Simon Mr John Simon , Spen Valley

Such questions as this often come up for consideration at the Treasury, and these are far from being the only suggestions made. I think that some regard should be paid to the very close and impartial consideration which has been given to a great many suggestions.