HC Deb 26 June 1834 vol 24 cc881-3
Mr. Thicknesse

rose, pursuant to notice, to move "That, after the end of the present financial half-year, the duty on each window above the number of thirty-nine, in any dwelling-house in Great-Britain, shall be the same as is now chargeable on each window, above the number of eleven and below the number of forty." After complaining of the unequal operation of the Window-tax, of its undue pressure on the middle classes, and the high degree in which it was favourable to the Aristocracy, he proceeded to say, that up to thirty-nine windows inclusive, there was an additional duty of 8s. 6d., or in some instances, for which there appeared to be no reason, of 8s. 3d. per window. From thirty-nine windows upwards, the rate of additional duty decreased, and was not imposed, as in the lower numbers, on each window, but on every four windows up to 100, and on every ten windows, from 100 to 180, an alteration in the scale made perhaps to render less manifest the unfairness and partiality with which the tax was imposed. The average additional duty on windows, from thirty-nine to forty-four, instead of 8s. 6d. or 8s. 3d., as for the lower number, was only 4s. 2d., from forty-five to fifty-nine, about 7s. per window; from sixty to sixty-four, about 6s. 2d. per window; sixty-five to sixty-nine, about 5s. 7d. per window; from seventy to seventy-four, 5s. 6d. per window; from which number to 100 the average additional duty continued at about the same rate. From 100 to 109, the average additional duty was only 3s. 4d. per window; from 110 to 180, it was somewhat under 4s. 6d. per window; and for all windows above 180, the additional duty was only 3s. 6d. per window; this scale, however, was affected in a trifling degree by the low duty on the first ten windows; which made the additional rate a little less per window on the whole number, when the total number was small than when it was greater; but, nevertheless, according to the whole duty chargeable, the tax per window lessened as the number of windows increased above thirty-nine. The whole duty on thirty-nine windows was 13l. 12s., which was equal to 6s. 11d. per window; from forty to forty-four windows, 14l. 8s. 9d., that was 6s. 6d. per window; from forty-five to forty-nine windows, 151. 6s. 9d., or 6s. 5d. per window. The whole duty on fifty-nine windows, was 18l. 13s., or 6s. 3d. per window; on sixty-nine, 21l. 0s., 3d., or 6s. ld.; on seventy-nine, 23l. 5s., or 5s. 10d.; on eighty-nine, 25l. 10s., or 5s. 7d.; on ninety-nine, 27l. 14s. 9d., or 5s. 7d. From 100 to 180, the duty decreased to 5s. 2d. per window, and the duty from 180 upwards being only ls. 6d. per window, as before stated, there was a still more rapid decrease of tax; so that for 300 windows, the whole duty was 55l. 11s. 3d., or 3s. 8d. per window; for 350, the whole duty was only 59l. 6s. 3d., or 3s. 4d. per window, not half the rate of duty imposed, when the number of windows was thirty-nine. He concluded by making his Motion.

The Speaker

suggested, that a Motion such as the hon. Member had made, ought to be submitted to a Committee of the whole House.

Mr. Thicknesse

would therefore move "that the House do then resolve itself into a Committee, to consider the Window-Tax."

Lord Althorp

contended, that the pressure of those taxes had been much exaggerated, and it was scarcely worth while at that period of the Session, to disturb the financial arrangements of the year for so small an object. He further thought, that in any arrangement which might be made, it would be desirable to operate upon both ends of the scale—to diminish the lower, as well as to increase the higher rates of payment. He did not think, however, that it would be expedient for the House to entertain the question at that period of the Session, although it was one which before the ensuing meeting of Parliament, might well become a matter of consideration with his Majesty's Government.

Motion withdrawn.