Clause 29. — (Stamping of Foreign Bills of Exchange.)

Part of Orders of the Day — FINANCE (No. 2) BILL – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th June 1967.

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Photo of Mr John Smith Mr John Smith , Cities of London and Westminster 12:00 am, 12th June 1967

Perhaps I might briefly reply to my constituent. This is not a concession. We must not allow ourselves to be so brain-washed that we treat everything as a concession. It is a way of reducing the cost to the Revenue of raising this tax. It will cost the Revenue much less to collect it in this way. That does not alter the fact that the total cost of collecting the tax, whether it falls on the Revenue or the economy, is greater than the money the tax produces. The reason is that this is a very rare type of tax, a tax on something which costs nothing. A cheque book costs nothing to the customer; he is charged only because of the tax. Therefore, the whole cost of accounting for the wretched thing is part of the cost of collecting the tax. Finally, just how much does this 2d. on bills of exchange drawn abroad raise? I have a little to do with foreign bills, and my experience is that there is not an enormous number of them about. I do not think that it raises very much money.