HC Deb 19 April 1920 vol 128 c71

Turning to the Inland Revenue, the receipts from that source show yields in excess of my Budget Estimate under every important head except Excess Profits Duty. The Income-tax and Super-tax realised £5,000,000 above the Estimate, principally owing to the very high level of profits in 1918–19. The Death Duties were estimated to produce £33,500,000 in view of the increase which I made in those duties by the Finance Act of last year. They, in fact, produced £7,500,000 more. It will interest the Committee, I think, to know that over £9,000,000 of the Death Duties were paid in War Securities of which Victory Bonds accounted for £2,500,000. I am reminded that when that issue was open I was told by a gentleman that a very wealthy friend of his at the age of seventy or over had consulted him as to whether at his age it was worth while as an insurance to take Victory Bonds, which, being issued at 85, were tenderable for Death Duties at the value of £100. The Excess Profits Duty showed a surplus of some £10,000,000 on my reduced estimate of October, but a deficiency on the Budget Estimate of about an equal sum. The payment of that difference, however, is only a pleasure deferred, because what was not received last year will come into the Revenue in the current year. I may add that the excess profits assessed during the year showed an upward trend, and I may remind the Committee that the yield of this tax in any given year is derived from the proceeds of the tax in the preceding year, the collection in this case following in the main in the year succeeding that in which the tax is imposed. Therefore, the duty accruing on the excess profits of last year will be mainly received in the current year. Stamp Duties again broke the record. Their yield was £10,500,000 in excess of the Estimate.


Could the right hon. Gentleman say to what the excess in the Stamp Duties was due?


The excess in the stamp duties was due to the extraordinary amount of business liable to Stamp Duty. Floatations of companies, sales of land, and other transactions subject to Stamp Duties showed a phenomenal expansion.