HC Deb 19 May 1882 vol 269 cc1088-9

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, If it is true that Succession Duty on real estate in Ireland has hitherto been charged at the rate of 33 per cent. over Government valuation; whether, having regard to the reductions of rent now being made by the Land Courts, he will cause a revision of this scale to be made, with a view to bringing the Duty more in accordance with the altered circumstances of the landowners; and, whether, in the case of holdings in respect of which originating notices have been served, he will suspend the levying of Succession Duty until the judicial rent shall have been ascertained?


Sir, in Ireland the same rule as to the charge of Succession Duty prevails as that which prevails in England and Scotland. The rack rent at which the property was bonâfide left at the time of the death which led to the Succession Duty being charged was taken as the annual value, according to which the capital value of the succession has to be estimated. If the property was in land, Griffith's valuation was taken, and not 33 per cent. but a percentage varying from 25 to 33 per cent added, as showing the annual value. In England and Scotland the annual value as shown in the Income Tax is taken, which is more severe. The decision of the Land Courts will doubtless govern the Commissioners in making the assessment; and with respect to cases where the annual value is sub judice at the time of the death, the Commissioners will hold over their claim for Succession Duty until it is decided.


asked, whether in cases in which Succession Duty was paid by instalments, the same consideration as that announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, arising out of the Land Court decisions, would be extended to the instalments yet unpaid?


Sir, the payment of Succession Duty by instalments is entirely and absolutely an indulgence of a very remarkable character, which has been granted by Parliament in case of Succession Duty on land, and it serves little to disguise the case that the duty which ought to be paid to the Exchequer is the entire duty on the rental as it was at the time of the death; and I cannot undertake to revise what is to happen subsequently in respect to a decrease, any more than in respect to an increase, and, consequently, I do not think it would be just to introduce such changes as the hon. Gentleman suggests.