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Sugar (Excise Duty)

Volume 466: debated on Monday 4 July 1949

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32.

asked the Minister of Food what is the amount of assistance given to the British beet sugar industry, respectively, by way of direct subsidy payment and by indirect subsidy due to the fact that the Excise duty payable by home grown beet sugar is lower than the full rate of Customs Import Duty; and that this preference in duty on home grown beet sugar is included in the price paid to the British Sugar Corporation for its sugar by consumers in the United Kingdom.

The difference between the cost of buying and processing beet and the income from the sale of products is made good by a deficiency payment which, last year, amounted to£3.44 million. All Commonwealth sugar, including home-produced sugar, pays a lower rate of duty than that levied on foreign sugar. It is calculated that last year the difference between the Excise duty payable on home-grown beet sugar and the charge at the full rate levied on foreign sugar was£2.5 million. As regards the second part of the Question, duty preferences to Commonwealth producers do not affect prices to the consumer.