HC Deb 15 July 1856 vol 143 cc941-3

Order for Committee read.

House in Committee.

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2.


said, he had received representations from some of the clerks to the Commissioners of the Income-tax, complaining that by this clause their salaries would be reduced in amount. He found, on examination, that the complaint was just, and therefore he was prepared to make some concession. He proposed that a poundage of 2d. should be paid till the salary amounted to £500 a year, and that after that sum the poundage should be 1d. That, he thought, would be satisfactory to the class of persons interested.


said, he would suggest that the reduction should be prospective from the 5th of April next. He was glad to hear that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had modified his Bill in this respect, as it would have been most unjust to restrict the poundage to £800 in all cases.


said, the only fault he had to find with the Chancellor of the Exchequer was that he had not made a larger reduction. It was shown by a recent return that one of the income-tax collectors received a salary of £6,600 a year, in addition to the profits of other occupations in which he was engaged. Many of his brother officials did not receive more than £60 or £70 for performing the same duties. The best plan would be to limit the salaries to a certain amount, all the percentage above that amount to go into the Exchequer.


said, the performance of the duties of these officers for the present year had not yet commenced, and therefore it was competent to the House, without violating any contract, to revise their salaries. He thought that, by the operation of the increased income tax, the salaries of the present clerks of the Commissioners were in some cases extensive; but he only proposed to deal with the salaries of thirty out of 700 clerks. The salary of the City of London clerk was stated in the return at £6,614 a year. That was the amount of the salary which he received before the most recent addition to the income tax, and probably the same official would now be in the receipt of upwards of £7,000 per annum. His outgoings could not be more than £1,000, and therefore, according to the present percentage, his net income would be about £6,000, or more than the salary of the First Lord of the Treasury, the Secretaries of State, or the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was at the head of the Department. The House would see that, if they were to preserve a due gradation in the salaries of the Revenue Department, the remuneration of Mr. Till was unreasonably high. Again, the collector in Liverpool received a salary of £3,215, and the collector in Manchester a salary of upwards of £3,000. No one could think the proposed reduction unreasonable. It would still leave the collector in the City of London a sum of between £3,000 and £4,000 a year, and some of the other collectors a salary as large as that of the great officers of State.


said, he wished to have an explanation of the previous clause, which seemed simply to repeal a provision in an existing Act that discharged lands from the land tax after the redemption money was paid.


said, the provision which it was proposed to repeal limited the power of redemption to persons who had estates in fee. A former Act allowed persons having limited interest to redeem under certain restrictions, and what he proposed was to remit the law to its ancient state.


said, he very much doubted whether the Act referred to was of the nature which the Chancellor of the Exchequer supposed, he still apprehended that the effect of the clause in the present Bill would be such as he had already stated.


said, that if the Committee would allow the clause to pass now, he would ascertain whether there was any mistake, and state the result upon some future occasion.

Clause agreed to, as were the remaining clauses.

House resumed.

Bill reported.