HC Deb 13 May 1903 vol 122 cc617-9

5. "That it is expedient to amend the Law relating to the National Debt, Customs, and Inland Revenue."

MR. ASHTON (Bedfordshire, Luton)

called the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the advisability, in the interests of thrift, of extending the system of deductions, in respect of premiums paid for life insurance, which was established by the Act of 1853, to premiums paid on other classes of insurance, such as insurance for the education of children, and insurances for the provision of children when they arrived at an age to start in life.


confessed that he was rather unwilling to extend the area of exemption and reduction, and he thought the question of life insurance stood on a somewhat different footing from the case to which the hon. Member had referred; but, of course, he would be very glad to consider the matter. As he had stated to the House, he proposed to make some examination into the Income Tax generally, and he did not know whether they could bring such a matter as that mentioned by the hon. Member into the reference; but he would, at any rate, consider it.

MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)

urged the right hon. Gentleman to extend the limit of abatement and exemption to incomes up to £800 or £1,000. By this, a great relief would be given to small Income Tax payers. He thought the time was propitious, and there would be a feeling of great disappointment if the right hon. Gentleman could not see his way to take a step in this direction.

MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he could give the House some information as to the form of the inquiry into the Income Tax and as to the reference.


said he was not able to give the right hon. Gentleman the information he desired at present. It was always a difficult matter to form a satisfactory tribunal for matters of this kind; and he could not really make any progress in the matter until he had had an opportunity of consulting a right hon. friend of his, who was not at present in England, as to whether or not he would be prepared to take some position on the Committee of Inquiry. Of course, he would naturally defer making any final arrangements as to the composition of the Committee and the reference until he had the opportunity of knowing whether his right hon. friend would serve, and, if so, of consulting him on the terms of the reference and the personnel of the Committee. The Committee would, of course, be a Committee of the House of Commons. The matter referred to by the hon. Member for Northamptonshire would, he presumed, fall within the scope of the inquiry, and he could hardly be expected before that inquiry, to take any such steps as were indicated by the hon. Gentleman, a thing which in any case it would be by no means easy to do.

Resolutions agreed to.

Ordered, that it be an Instruction to the gentlemen appointed to bring in a Bill upon the Resolution reported from the Committee of Ways and Means on the 27th April last, and then agreed to by the House, that they do make provision therein pursuant to the said Resolutions.—(Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer.)

Forward to