HC Deb 04 May 1915 vol 71 cc1001-2

The second feature in the figures of last year to which I should like to invite the attention of the House is the wonderful buoyancy of the Income Tax and Super-tax. The yield of the Income Tax attributable to the first Budget of 1914 may now be put at £46,000,000. The forecast made in November of the yield of the Income Tax, as increased by the rate levied by the House in that Budget, was £53,000,000. The actual yield was £59,279,000. The yield of the Super-tax attributable to the first Budget was £8,135,000. Although the rates were increased in November, I did not anticipate that I should receive more than £8,460,000 last year. As a matter of fact, the actual yield proved to be £10,120,000. The total excess of the actual yield of Income Tax and Super-tax over the estimate of November was nearly £8,000,000. This is almost entirely due to the case with which these two taxes were collected. This is notably the case with regard to Super-tax. The progress of the collection was very remarkable. The tax was due on 1st January, and in the week ending the 9th of that month nearly £2,500,000 was paid. £820,000 were received in a single day, and, what is still more unusual, the remittances were very often accompanied by letters testifying to the readiness with which people enclosed their cheques. It was an advantage from the point of view of the finances of last year, but to that extent I have lost the money from the finances of the present year. The Committee would like to know what the number of Super-tax payers is now. They now reach 26,000. The number added by the first Finance Act of last year has proved up to date to be 12,000. Additional returns continue to come in and the total of the new Super-tax payers will probably reach 15,000.