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Purchase Tax (Various Drugs)

Volume 415: debated on Wednesday 31 October 1945

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Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That the Purchase Tax (Exemptions) (No. 2) Order, 1945 (S.R. & O. 1945, No. 1263), dated 9th October, 1945, made by the Treasury under the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1940, a copy of which Order was presented on 16th October, be approved."—[Mr. Glenvil Hall.]

Again, I would like to ask the Financial Secretary two perfectly simple questions. There has been a great deal of feeling among the less fortunate people of the country that some of the more simple and household remedies should no longer be subject to the Purchase Tax. The two things I have in mind are camphorated oil and cough mixture for children. Perhaps the hon. and gallant Gentleman, the Financial Secretary, will be so good as to say whether these two articles, in common use in every home where there are children, cannot be exempted from Purchase Tax. [Interruption.] If the hon. Member will rise in his place and ask me to give way, I will do so with pleasure.

:What I was saying was that cough mixture only poisons children. I am the father of seven, and we never had anything of the kind in the house.

I conclude by asking the right hon. Gentleman if he will say whether these ordinary, simple and domestic recipes are still to be subjected to tax by this Government in its new found desire to assist the poor and the humblest in the land.

The short answer is that, in so far as they are taxed now, obviously, that tax will continue for the moment, because this order deals only with the drugs which are mentioned, many of which have names which few of us would like to pronounce and probably would not know what they meant, in any case. In so far as the medicines mentioned by the hon. Member are proprietary articles, obviously, they are not exempt, in any case.

Question put, and agreed to.