§ MR. STOREY (Sunderland)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it was intended by the Customs and Inland Revenue Act, recently passed, 75 to exempt from House Duty houses with one front door yet with two or more tenements each of less than £20 per annum: and, if so, will he explain why the Somerset House officials and certain Inland Revenue officials in the country state that such houses are not included in the exemption; and whether, as this rendering of the Act would deprive of exemption many thousands of owners of such houses, he will give instructions securing to them what the House intended?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN,) St. George's, Hanover Square
Houses such as those described by the hon. Member would be exempt from House Duty, irrespective of the question whether they have one or more front doors, if they fall within the conditions laid down in Subsection 2 of Section 26 of the Customs and Inland Revenue Act, 1890, namely, that they are constructed for the sole purpose of providing separate dwellings at rents not exceeding 7s. 6d. a week and are approved by the Medical Officer of Health. No such statement as that ascribed to the Inland Revenue officials has been made with the sanction of the Board of Inland Revenue; but the Act has, of course, no retrospective effect, and several applications as regards the year 1889–90 have been refused as not being within the Treasury concession then in force.