HC Deb 29 March 1889 vol 334 cc1146-7
MR. BAIRD (Glasgow, Central)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Commissioners of Inland Revenue have instructed their officials that "a carriage used for the conveyance of passengers at separate fares does not fall within the definition of a hackney carriage as set forth in Section 4 of 'The Customs and Inland Revenue Act, 1888;'" whether "hackney carriage," according to that definition, means any carriage standing or plying for hire; and, whether, in order to remove all grounds for dispute as to this point, he will consent to include all hackney carriages in the definition?


I am advised that a carriage used for the conveyance of passengers at separate fares is not a hackney carriage within the terms of the Inland Revenue Act of 1888. If that advice is correct, it is, of course, not possible to extend the term "hackney carriage" so as to cover such vehicles without legislation. It is not for me to take the initiative in any such proposal. After Monday next the proceeds of the carriage tax cease to go to the Exchequer, and become part of the revenue of the County Councils. The Government wish it to be clearly understood that with regard to this and all the other transferred licence duties, the County Councils now stand between the Government and the public. Any proposal for changes in these duties must first be addressed to the County Councils, and the Government cannot take action, in such matters, vitally affecting as they do the finance of the County Councils, unless it is approached through them.