Purchase Tax (Small Manufacturers)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th December 1957.

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Photo of Sir Gerald Nabarro Sir Gerald Nabarro , Kidderminster 12:00 am, 19th December 1957

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the present high rate of Purchase Tax imposed on certain manufacturers' produce is a specially difficult problem for small manufacturers who frequently find themselves obliged to finance the payment of the tax for a long period out of their own resources, and that the recent increase in the Bank Rate has materially increased these difficulties; and to what extent his present review of the Purchase Tax will include this matter.

Photo of Mr Enoch Powell Mr Enoch Powell , Wolverhampton South West

No, Sir. Registered traders receive from the Crown credit for a period which, on average, roughly equals that of the credit which they give to their customers.

Photo of Sir Gerald Nabarro Sir Gerald Nabarro , Kidderminster

Yes, Sir, but is this period to be regarded as inflexible? Is it not the fact that the same period has related to this matter ever since the Purchase Tax was introduced? Having regard to the conditions to which I draw attention in this Question, namely, the high Bank Rate, and other economic and financial conditions—and the Government's policy, in broad principle, is correct, of course—would it not be desirable in the present circumstances to try to help the small manufacturer?

Photo of Mr Enoch Powell Mr Enoch Powell , Wolverhampton South West

I have seen no evidence to suggest that the level of Bank Rate has caused any hardship in this respect.