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Merchant Shipping

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 11 June 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what domestic taxation is placed upon UK merchant shipping; what discussions he has had with industry representatives on the tax burden on UK shipping; and what proposals he has to reduce the burden. [118274]

In common with other sectors of the economy, the UK shipping industry is subject to a range of taxes and duties and benefits from a range of allowances and reliefs, consistent with the Government's desire to maintain a fair and broad-based tax system raising sufficient revenue for investment in our public services while maintaining the international competitiveness of UK businesses. The shipping industry also benefits from special tax reliefs and regimes, which reflect the particular needs and circumstances of the industry.The Government takes into account the overall tax burden on different sectors when setting tax rates and reviewing tax policies, and holds regular discussions where appropriate with representatives from such sectors, including the shipping industry, to take their views into account when considering policy changes.