Selective Employment Tax

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th March 1967.

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Photo of Mr Alasdair Mackenzie Mr Alasdair Mackenzie , Ross and Cromarty 12:00 am, 7th March 1967

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement as to the cost of administering the Selective Employment Tax as it affects agriculture and other industries entitled to a refund.

Photo of Mr Niall MacDermot Mr Niall MacDermot , Derby North

The cost of administering refunds to the private sector is about £375,000 in a full year, and about a third of this is for refunds to agriculture. The cost of collection cannot be separately identified.

Photo of Mr Alasdair Mackenzie Mr Alasdair Mackenzie , Ross and Cromarty

Does the Financial Secretary recognise that this imposition is a waste of time and money? Would not he agree that it would be better to abolish this tax entirely, certainly for those industries which are given the refund?

Photo of Mr Niall MacDermot Mr Niall MacDermot , Derby North

As I said in answer to a previous Question, it is not a waste of time and money. This tax, including the cost of paying the refunds, is an unusually cheap tax to administer.

Photo of Mr Paul Dean Mr Paul Dean , Somerset North

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will announce the results of the studies he has made of the effects of the Selective Employment Tax on those parts of the country with the smallest proportion of employees engaged in manufacturing industry.

Photo of Mr Paul Dean Mr Paul Dean , Somerset North

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise from the figures he has already given that those parts of the country least able to pay are bearing the biggest burden? Will he give an assurance that he will put this right at an early date?

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

The hon. Gentleman will understand from my original reply that I can give him no assurance, and that he can draw no deductions from my original Answer.