Added-vaiue Tax

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th November 1969.

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Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury 12:00 am, 25th November 1969

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the rise in prices resulting from the adoption by Great Britain of the added-value tax in line with that of the Common Market countries.

Photo of Mr Jack Diamond Mr Jack Diamond , Gloucester

That would depend on the rates and coverage of the tax.

Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury

Nevertheless, recalling the speech of the then Foreign Secretary, the right hon. Member for Belper (Mr. George Brown) in 1967, will the Chief Secretary reaffirm what was implied in that statement, namely, that if we join the Common Market the Government will then accept the value-added tax or something similar?

Photo of Mr Jack Diamond Mr Jack Diamond , Gloucester

In case I have not already pointed this out to the hon. Gentleman, I apologise for not having done so, and I take this opportunity to refer him to what my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said when he dealt with this matter absolutely fully.

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

My right hon. Friend said that it would depend upon the value-added tax itself. Has he no idea how much it is, either actually or on average, in the Common Market countries? Could he not work on that basis and give us an idea?

Photo of Mr Jack Diamond Mr Jack Diamond , Gloucester

No, Sir. I am always anxious to be as helpful to the House as I can, but my hon. Friend will appreciate that he might just as well ask me what would be produced by an income tax, a selective employment tax or any other tax he cared to name. It depends entirely on the rates and the coverage, as I have indicated.