HC Deb 14 February 1895 vol 30 cc752-3
MR. G. C. T. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that Section 34, Sub-section (2) of the Finance Act, 1894, has been held by the Inland Revenue to exclude married women who are engaged in trade from the benefits granted to married women deriving incomes from any profession, employment, or vocation; whether he is aware that under this decision a married woman engaged as a typewriter gets the advantage which her sister engaged as a milliner or dressmaker does not; and whether he will take steps to remedy this inequality of treatment?


The Income Tax Act, 1842, in Section 100, draws a clear distinction between profits derived from any "trade, manufacture, adventure, or concern, in the nature of trade," upon profits derived from "professions, employments, or vocations." The relief given to married women by the Finance Act, 1894, is distinctly limited to the latter. I see no reason for making any alteration in the Act.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it was not certainly the understanding of the Committee, and the House, that in making the exemption no distinction would be made as regards the source from which married women derived their income, provided it was earned in some occupation; and is it wise to make a distinction in this way in regard to the small incomes of married women?


That matter raised in the latter question cannot be discussed in answer to a question. But as to the understanding, it was clearly in my mind that the exemption was only granted in respect of employment. The case that was specially put was that of a schoolmistress—that was the case on which the discussion turned. Therefore it was clearly in my mind that it was not intended to include women engaged in trade.