Orders of the Day — Customs (Import Deposits) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th November 1969.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Joel Barnett Mr Joel Barnett , Heywood and Royton 12:00 am, 17th November 1969

The hon. Gentleman did not spell it out. He is wriggling a bit now. He was arguing about the liquidity problem of small importers. I am saying there is no problem because the money is available outside existing resources. Now he is arguing that it is increased cost. Of course it is true. It adds to the cost of the goods. Nobody would dispute it. Even at the 40 per cent. import deposit level, with the average rate of interest being charged today the real increased cost is probably somewhere between 2 per cent. and 3 per cent.—counting it twice a year, because it comes only every six months. This is an increased cost. All that is happening is like adding on purchase tax to the cost of goods. Most importers are passing that increase off. So we can talk about price inflation. But what we cannot do—I would like to get this clear—is to talk about small importers having a liquidity problem.