§ MR. BROOKE ROBINSON (Dudley)
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether he will take into consideration the justice of allowing colliery proprietors to receive the same deduction in their Income Tax, in respect of the depreciation of their minerals, that is now allowed by the provisions of "The Customs and Inland Revenue Act, 1878," to manufacturers and others in respect of the depreciation in their machinery?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN) (St. George's, Hanover Square)
The question of granting allowance for the depreciation of minerals is one which cannot be considered apart from that of all other property in which capital value is diminishing, such as leaseholds, terminable annuities, quarries, &c. The original Income Tax Act of 1842, Section 159, was framed on the assumption that no allowance should be made on account of diminution of capital. It is true that this principle has been so far relaxed as to allow depreciation on machinery or plant (41 Vict. c. 15, s. 12); but then this was a concession in favour of concerns in the nature of trade and manufacture, whereas to give the like concession to mines would be to extend it to property; and, if given, the occupiers must necessarily go further, and embrace an allowance for repairs under Schedule A. In short, the point could not be conceded without involving an entire reconstruction of the Income Tax Acts—a change which has been considered by two Select Committees of the House, and in both cases found impracticable.