Orders of the Day — First Schedule. — (Amendments of Purchase Tax Rates.)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th November 1955.

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Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead 12:00 am, 28th November 1955

I am not prepared to enter into a controversial discussion with the hon. Member about the causes of the fuel crisis of 1947. All that we need to be concerned with is what happened afterwards.

What happened afterwards was that, in their 1947 Budget the Labour Government decided, for planning purposes, to impose tax at the high rate of 66 2–3rd per cent. on all space and water heaters which drew supplies from main electricity or gas. An exception was made at that time in favour of the other heaters—particularly those that worked on bottled gas —only because additional tax was not justified by the reason for the Labour Government's imposition of tax at that time. The tax was brought in solely to try to restrain the demand for these appliances which was further overloading the available electricity and gas supplies.