Exemptions and Reliefs

Part of Clause 2 – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd December 1968.

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Photo of Mr Harold Lever Mr Harold Lever , Manchester Cheetham 12:00 am, 3rd December 1968

Although one tries to keep the debate as light-hearted as possible, I hope that the hon. Member for Barkston Ash (Mr. Alison) will believe that my remarks about small com- panies were made in all sincerity. I certainly take the point he made, that a company ought to be allowed if it needs it for import deposits, to retain profits in the business and not be forced to distribute them. I venture the opinion that the clear requirements of the business of an importer would include the necessity to finance to some extent his import deposits. If he so used his cash, I should have thought he would have the clearest case for resisting distribution of those profits if he wished to use them for import deposit purposes.

I cannot help mischievously adding that it would be a case where he could avoid paying Income Tax and Surtax on them for a year and have the money in cash form afterwards exempt. So, far from being a loser tax-wise, he would have a modest advantage which I would not begrudge him.