HC Deb 14 July 1896 vol 42 cc1509-11

(1.) Where this or any other Act enacts that income tax shall be charged in any year at any rate, there shall be charged, levied, and paid during that year in respect of all property, profits, and gains respectively described or comprised in the several Schedules A, B, C, D, and E in the Income Tax Act, 1853, the tax at that rate: for every twenty shillings of the annual value or amount of property, profits, and gains chargeable under Schedules A, C, D, or E in the said Act; and for every twenty shillings of one third of the annual value of lands, tenements, hereditaments, and heritages chargeable under Schedule B in the said Act in respect of the occupation thereof.

(2.) The deduction of one-eighth out of the duties chargeable under Schedule B shall cease.

(3.) All enactments relating to income tax which are for the time being in force shall apply to the duties of income tax from time to time granted by any Act, so far as the same are consistent with that Act.

MR. HEYWOOD JOHNSTONE (Sussex, Horsham) moved to omit Sub-section (2) of Clause 26. He drew the attention of the House to the change in the wording of the Finance Act of 1895 and of 1894, and of the Income Tax Act, and though it might appear at first sight that there was an advantage in the present form, that advantage disappeared when they took away the allowance of one-eighth which had hitherto been enjoyed. The moment that this allowance was taken away the beam went the other way, and the alteration of the Act was not in favour of the taxpayer, but against him. He did not think it was the intention of the Government, in changing this well-known old established form of words, to do a disadvantage to the agricultural taxpayer. They had shown their desire to consult his welfare during the present Session, but the effect of the alteration was to place him at a disadvantage. He asked the Government to let them know that night what were the real grounds for the alteration in their Finance Act. Land was assessed under Schedule B at a higher rate than under Schedule A; and, if they took the taxation of land under the Bill at one-third of the present assessment under Schedule B, the amount would be higher than the present assessment of one-third under Schedule A. He thought the Government could easily meet the difficulty in the way he had suggested; but if they did not see their way to do so, he should be content if it was arranged that land under Schedule B should be assessed at the same amount as the one - third assessment under Schedule A.


said he could not detain the House at that late hour by fully explaining the matter in detail—["hear, hear!"]—but he assured the hon. Member that the clause as it stood was to the advantage of the taxpayer. As had been stated, an alteration was made in 1894–5, when his predecessor, at the request of a large number of hon. Members representing agricultural districts, lowered the rate of the Income Tax under Schedule B in England. What the Government now proposed to do by the clause in question was to place all three countries with regard to Schedule B on the same footing of one-third of the assessment under Schedule A, and the proposal would be to the advantage of the payers of Income Tax under the former schedule, while at the same time the arrangement would simplify the law. If the sub-section was struck out, the result would be that an injustice would be inflicted on Scotland and Ireland; and, in these circumstances, he hoped the Amendment would not be pressed.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 31,—