Ice Cream, Soft Drinks and Sweets (Purchase Tax)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd December 1963.

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Photo of Mr Edward Milne Mr Edward Milne , Blyth 12:00 am, 3rd December 1963

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his policy in regard to the tax on ice cream, soft drinks and sweets.

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

Representations about the effects of the 15 per cent. Purchase Tax are being made to me by the industries concerned. I will give these careful consideration but I cannot anticipate my decision.

Photo of Mr Edward Milne Mr Edward Milne , Blyth

Will the right hon. Gentleman look into a number of factors of this matter? The tax in itself has never been a justifiable one in any case. It has contributed to unemployment in many areas and to falling off of demand. Quite a number of manufacturers have sheltered behind it in order to cloak price increases, including altering the size of the commodities. The matter needs very careful examination. When the Chancellor introduced this tax various reasons were given. In view of the professed prosperity he is now preaching, cannot he deal with this more expeditiously?

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

I will consider any representations on the subject, particularly from hon. Members.

Photo of Mr Clive Bossom Mr Clive Bossom , Leominster

Will my right hon. Friend also bear in mind the hardship that this tax of 15 per cent.—

Photo of Mr Arthur Lewis Mr Arthur Lewis , West Ham North

The hon. Member voted for it.

Photo of Mr Clive Bossom Mr Clive Bossom , Leominster

No, I did not—on blackcurrant juice is causing the horticultural industry?

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

I think my hon. Friend will recognise that I am prepared at all times to consider representations on this and similar points but that equally I am not prepared to anticipate any decision I may take.