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Volume 176: debated on Wednesday 18 July 1990

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will restore immediately the tax incentive for ship owners placing new orders.

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has no plans to do so. The present capital allowances regime is already more generous for ships than commercial depreciation. Ships have an economic life of 15–20 years, but for tax purposes they can be substantially written off within eight years.