§ Mr. FIELD (Dublin, St. Patrick)
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the fact that an owner or lessor is obliged to pay income-tax on the valuation of house property (if not himself the occupier) even though he derives no net income from same (the head rent, local taxes, and repairs often absorbing the gross income derivable from same), and that in the case of a claim for abatement or exemption no deduction is allowed for the diminution of income owing to money expended for the repairs of house property, he will consider the advisability of amending the law so that the owner may not lose the benefits of the statutory abatement or exemption and be obliged to pay income-tax on an income he does not receive.
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN, Worcestershire, E.)
The statutory deduction from the assessment upon a house of one-sixth of its full annual value—which is granted by Section 35 of the Finance Act, 1894—is, I think, amply sufficient in ordinary cases to cover all necessary expenditure in connection with the up-keep of the property, and no further allowance seems to be called for. As regards head rent (to which the hon. Member refers as absorbing part of the income derived from such property) the owner of the house is entitled to deduct income-tax from the payment made to the ground landlord, thus throwing upon the latter the burden of the duty, and such head rent would not be regarded as part of the owner's income for the purpose of ascertaining his title to exemption or abatement.