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Purchase Tax (Charges) (Utility Mattresses)

Volume 411: debated on Monday 4 June 1945

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6.55 p.m.

I beg to move,

"That the Purchase Tax (Charges) (No. 2) Order, 1945, dated 15th May 1945, made by the Treasury under Section 20 of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1940, a copy of which Order was presented on 29th May, be approved."
By the Purchase Tax (Exemption) (No. 1) Order, 1943, bedding and certain other articles of a utility nature to which certain marks are affixed are exempted from Purchase Tax. During the war only mattresses of a utility character have been manufactured, but now the manufacture is being resumed of mattresses containing interior springs. These articles, which perhaps are not entirely of a luxury character but are halfway between a luxury and a necessity, should, it is proposed, bear Purchase Tax at the basic but not at the luxury rate, the basic rate being 33⅓ per cent. The Board of Trade have fixed maximum prices for these articles, and hon. Members who can afford them, and indeed other people, will be able in future to sleep on these mattresses containing interior springs and have the satisfaction of reflecting during their slumbers that they have made some contribution towards the revenue of the country.

My right hon. Friend, I think, mentioned some other articles of bedding besides mattresses. Are they included in the Order, or will it apply solely to spring mattresses?

It applies only to mattresses. They are the only new articles in respect of which a provision of this kind is required.

Question put, and agreed to.