HC Deb 29 February 1876 vol 227 cc1162-3

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. J. G. Hubbard.)


objected to the Bill being disposed of without some further explanation than had been given of its provisions.


said, the measure was one to which he entertained very serious financial objections, and pointed out that the Bill introduced by the President of the Local Government Board proposed to repeal the Act with which the present measure dealt. He thought it would be inconvenient to proceed with the discussion of this measure at present until the House had heard some statement on the subject.


begged to move, as an Amendment, that the Bill be read a second time on that day month.


seconded the Amendment.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day month."—(Mr. Goldsmid.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."


said, the object of the Bill was to mitigate the assessment of Imperial taxation on all real property in the metropolis, reducing the rateable charge on the gross rental of the property by the outgoing necessary to maintain it. Nothing could be more equitable, and the President of the Local Government Board proposed to apply the same principle to the whole of the country which it was sought by this Bill to apply to the metropolis. In 1870 or 1871 the gross value of property assessable in the metropolis was £24,000,000. Since that estimate was made the rateable value of the metropolis had been raised from £24,000,000 to £28,000,000, not absolutely by increased value, but by the system which had been very diligently pursued by the assessment committees and surveyors' of surcharging the value of the houses whenever there was any excuse for doing so. He could mention instances in which the valuation of houses had been doubled and even trebled, although their actual value had not been increased. The consequence of this was that £4,000,000 had been added to the gross value returned for the metropolis. If his proposition were accepted he believed the Government would receive, owing to the enhanced value of property in London, nearly as large an amount in property tax in 1876 as they received in 1871.


begged to withdraw his Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


said, he hoped his right hon. Friend (Mr. Hubbard) would withdraw his Bill, or consent to an adjournment for a long time. There was nothing in his statement peculiarly applicable to the metropolis. If it were right to charge property tax on rateable value instead of gross value in London, it would be equally right to do so in the country, and he apprehended there were few people who complained more of the property tax in that respect than the owners of land. The Government also had before the House a Bill in which it was proposed to consolidate the general law of the country as to valuation, and therefore the present Bill was inopportune. Besides, if they interfered with the rating under Schedule A they must also interfere with that under Schedule B, and thus upset a system which had been in existence for many years. He hoped his right hon. Friend would rest satisfied with having placed his views on this interesting subject before the House, and would consent to withdraw his Bill.

Notice taken, that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members not being present,

House adjourned at Eight o'clock.