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Gas Mantles

Volume 155: debated on Tuesday 20 June 1922

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware of the chaos now existing in the gas mantle industry by the uncertainty prevailing as to what tax is payable; seeing that the taxable material is assumed to be about 5 per cent. of the value of the mantle, can he say why he is demanding that 25 per cent. shall be deposited; and, if he is not yet in a position to announce what the duty is to be, will he reduce this percentage of 25 per cent. immediately?

The hon. Member is, I think, under a misapprehension. As stated by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his reply to the hon. Member for Whitechapel on the 15th instant, the 25 per cent. refers not to the duty, but to the value on which the duty is calculated. The deposit of duty is therefore at the rate of only 8⅓ per cent. of the value of the mantle, and my right hon. Friend does not see his way to reduce this amount further pending the determination of the exact rates appropriate to the various types of mantle, which is expected within the next few days.

Will the, hon. and gallant Member consider the advisability, in view of the prevalence of unemployment in the gas mantle trade, of taking steps to increase the duty on gas mantles?