HC Deb 23 March 1896 vol 38 cc1611-2

I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he is aware that the authorities at Somerset House are refusing to make any abatement or deduction from estate duty payable in respect of property upon which, under the practice of compounding, legacy duty at the rate of one per cent. has already been levied, although such legacy duty would not now, by virtue of Section 1 of the Finance Act 1894, be payable; whether he will give directions to the authorities at Somerset House, or introduce a Bill, with the object of allowing or legalising such abatement; and whether he will provide that such directions or legislation shall have a retrospective effect?


I am considering whether it will be possible to deal with the subject of the hon. Member's complaint in the Finance Bill for the present year; but there is no precedent for giving retrospective effect to remissions of taxation, and to do so would be to introduce a new principle, which would be wholly impossible of general application.