HC Deb 27 August 1914 vol 66 cc175-6

May I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can now make the statement which he fore told yesterday in regard to the allowances on Death Duties in the case of the estates of those who have fallen in the War?


I am prepared to submit to the right hon. Gentleman and to the House what our proposals are in respect to this matter. The Government consider that it would be unjust and unseemly that the revenue should profit by the premature death of those who sacrifice their lives in the service of their country, and especially so if it were to the detriment of their widows and children. Therefore, our proposals will be these—and I hope to be able to submit the Bills tomorrow—and perhaps the House will be-good enough to let me have the measure in all its stages—we propose to remit, or, in the case of duty already paid, to repay the whole or any part of the Death Duties leviable in respect of property passing on the death of the deceased to his widow or lineal descendants of the total value, for the purposes of Estate Duty, if the property so passing does not exceed £5,000. In regard to property over £5,000, instead of charging Death Duties on the principal value of the estate actually passing on death, the charge as regards any part of the estate which passes to the widow or lineal descendant will be on that value, discounted under the 3 per cent. tables, for the number of years of the probability of life at the age that the deceased had attained.