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Stamp Duties

Volume 463: debated on Wednesday 6 April 1949

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The next field to clear is Stamp Duties. I have made a comprehensive review of these duties, and find that there are a large number of heads of charge which are either entirely obsolete or completely archaic. I propose to repeal all such heads of charge, and also certain other heads, which, though neither archaic nor obsolete, produce little or no revenue. Included under these latter heads are a number of commercial documents—letters of allotment, scrip certificates, proxies, bills of lading, and so on, where the repeal should be a real convenience to the business community. The repeal will also extend to marriage licences, passports, birth, marriage and death certificates, as well as to a number of legal documents, where the yield of duty is small. The repeals will operate—there are about 40 of them in all—from the date when the Finance Bill becomes law, and will cost about £500,000 in the current year.