HC Deb 16 July 1920 vol 131 cc2837-8

Section nineteen of The Finance Act, 1919, shall have effect as though for the word "seventy" there were substituted the words "one hundred and five," for the word "sixty" there were substituted the word "ninety," and for the words "fifty-two" there were substituted the words "seventyeight."—[Lieut.-Colonel ,Sir J. Hope.]

Brought up, and read the First time.


I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

Under paragraph (5) of the first Section of the Income Tax, certain allowances are given on the assessable value of certain subjects, one-eighth for land, and one-sixth for housing, and it was further provided that in the case of houses under £12 rental, if it could be proved that the average for five years exceeded the sum of one-sixth, allowance must be given for this additional expenditure. Under last year's Finance Act, the Chancellor of the Exchequer provided that instead of the £12 limit, the same concession should be given in the case of houses in the metropolitan district under —70, in Scotland under £60, and elsewhere under £52. That was done in order to place these concessions in line. Since the Finance Act of 1919, another Increase of Rent (Restrictions) Act has just been passed, raising the limit, and my Amendment is simply to amend Section 19 of the Finance Act of last year, in order to bring all the houses under the present Increase of Rent (Restrictions) Act, and under the concessions provided in Section 19 of the Act last year. It is a very small matter. The concession only becomes operative in certain cases, where it can be proved that the average cost of repairs for five years has exceeded one-sixth or one-eighth, as the case may be. The Committee is well aware that the cost of repairs has enormously increased, and, if it was necessary to give this concession under the Rent Restrictions Act of last year, I am sure that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be equally ready to extend the same concession under the new Rent Restrictions Act of this year.


I should prefer to leave the matter where we left it last year, until we can deal with the recommendations of the Income Tax Commission on this subject as a whole, and fulfil the various suggestions that they make. The transitory period through which we are passing is recognised by the Commissioners, and it is very difficult to arrive at a final conclusion, but I recognise the force of my hon. and gallant Friend's appeal that, just as last year we adjusted the limits to the limits fixed by the Rent Restrictions Act, so we should adjust them now to the new limits introduced this year. That is certainly a logical proposal. I imagine it will seem to the Committee a reasonable proposal, and I think I shall be pursuing the path of wisdom if I accept my hon. and gallant Friend's new Clause.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.