HC Deb 01 July 1851 vol 118 cc102-3

moved for leave to bring in a Bill to alter the duty on carriages. There were above 100,000 artisans employed in the manufacture of carriages; and their objection to the present duty was that it not only diminished the revenue, but the trade in carriages. He proposed not a remission of the tax, but a modification of it; by which he believed the revenue would not in any way suffer. The duty at present varied from 5l. 1s. 5d. to 1l. 5s.; and the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer must be aware that the carriage trade was in a declining state, and that the revenue from that source was also declining. Ten years ago the number of exemptions was returned as 25,000, and now it was 45,000. The advertisements of carriages for sale "under tax, or exempt from tax," showed how this duty was evaded. He proposed that in future there should only be three classes of vehicles subject to tax—fourwheeled carriages, drawn by two or more horses, should pay 3l.; four-wheeled Carriages, drawn by one horse, should pay 2l.; and vehicles with two wheels should pay 1l. annually. He also proposed that agricultural vehicles should be altogether exempt from duty.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That leave be given to bring in a Bill to reduce the Duty oh Carriages."


hoped that the House would not agree to the proposition of the hon. and gallant Member. He concurred with him in thinking that some alteration might be made; but after the financial reductions which had already been effected, he trusted that he should have time given him to pause, and that he should not be asked to go further during the present year. The hon. and gallant Member said that no loss would be sustained by the revenue in consequence of the proposed alteration; but this was an assertion easily made, though not so easily justified by proof. He did not think that in the present year he ought to be called on to sacrifice more of the public revenue than had been sacrificed already. Even if the House thought it necessary that this branch of taxation should be reviewed, a reasonable time ought to be allowed for that purpose. If the income tax had been renewed for a series of years, it might have been possible to have carried into effect the remission proposed by the hon. and gallant Member; but in its present shape it was impossible.


said, that the tax on carriages was now not more than it was ten years ago, and this was a proof that frauds were committed.


said, he concurred that the exemptions led to an infinity of fraud; but in the present state of the finances, he thought the hon. and gallant Member would not advance his cause by pressing his Motion to a division.


said, that as the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had almost given him a promise that he would consider the subject, he would beg leave to withdraw his Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.