HC Deb 02 July 1923 vol 166 cc83-6

(1)The following paragraphs shall be substituted for paragraphs (i) and (ii) of paragraph (1) (b) of Rule 7 of No. V in Schedule A (which relates to the allowance for repairs):

  1. "(i) Where the owner is occupier or chargeable as landlord, or where a tenant is occupier and the landlord has undertaken to bear the cost of repairs, by a sum equal to the amount of the authorised reduction hereinafter mentioned; and
  2. (ii) Where a tenant is occupier and has undertaken to bear the cost of repairs, by such a sum, not exceeding the amount of the authorised reduction, as may be necessary to reduce the amount of the assessment to the amount of rent payable by him;

Provided that the amount by which an assessment is reduced shall not, in the case of an assessment exceeding the amount of forty pounds, be less than it would have been if the amount of the assessment had been forty pounds."

(2) The following paragraph shall be inserted at the end of the said Rule 7: (3) The authorised reduction for the purposes of this Rule shall be—

  1. (a) Where the amount of the assessment does not exceed forty pounds: a sum equal to one-fourth part of the amount of the assessment.
  2. (b Where the amount of the assessment exceeds forty pounds but does not exceed one hundred pounds: a sum equal to one-fifth part of the amount of the assessment.
  3. (c) Where the amount of the assessment exceeds one hundred pounds: twenty pounds, together with a sum equal to one-sixth part of the amount by which the assessment exceeds one hundred pounds."

(3) Paragraph (2) of the said Rule 7 shall have effect as if after the words "one-eighth" there were inserted the words "below the rent" and as if for the words "is more than one-sixth below the rent" there were substituted the words "is less than the rent by a sum greater than the authorised reduction which would be allowable if the assessment were on the amount of the rent," and in paragraph (1) of Rule 8 of the said No. V in Schedule A for the reference to one-sixth part of the value there shall be substituted a reference to the authorised reduction.

(4) Nothing in this section shall affect the validity of any notice of assessment of annual value under Section thirty-two of the Finance Act, 1922, given before the commencement of this Act, but the occupier of any property, or the owner or other person in receipt of the rent of any property, who is aggrieved by the amount by which the assessment has been reduced for the purposes of collection under the provisions of Rule 7 of No. V in Schedule A, as amended by this Section, shall be entitled to appeal on the matter if he gives to the surveyor, not later than the fifth day of April, nineteen hundred and twenty-five, notice in writing of his intention to appeal, and on any such appeal the Commissioners shall make such amendment (if any) in relation to the reduction as the case may require, and the provisions of the Income Tax Acts relating to appeals against assessments to Income Tax under Schedule A shall, with any necessary modifications, apply to appeals under this Sub-section.

Provided that nothing in this Sub-section shall affect the collection or recovery of any tax assessed and charged, and where the amount of any reduction is increased on an appeal under this Sub-section any tax overpaid shall be repaid.

(5) This Section shall, unless Parliament otherwise determines, cease to have effect on the fifth day of April, nineteen hundred and twenty-eight.—[Sir W. Joynson-Hicks.]

Brought up, and read the First time.


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

The fate which has attended my efforts with regard to the last Clause hardly encourages me in moving this one.—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"]


It might have been much worse!


As the hon. Member says, it might have been much worse; he might have taken part in the discussion. I think this new Clause is one at which nobody will cavil; it is brought in to carry out the concession arranged on the Committee stage dealing with the allowance for repairs in regard to the re-assessment of house property. The existing rate is one-sixth, and we now propose to make allowances for repairs, in order to meet the increased cost, of one-fourth, where the house does not exceed £40 in value; one-fifth, on houses where the assessment is between £40 and £100; and on houses where the assessment exceeds £100, one-fifth up to £100, and one-sixth above that sum. This will make a very generous allowance for repairs, and will mitigate the hardships of the re-assessment which, undoubtedly, in some quarters have been felt to be too grievous to be borne. This carries fully out the concessions announced. I think it has been received with satisfaction by the House, and also by the country outside.


When the right hon. Gentleman made his announcement in Committee, his concession was received with a universal chorus of approbation, which, he has just stated, he believes to have been re-echoed in the country. I ventured, on the Committee stage—I think almost alone—to criticise slightly the concession which he had made, and to point out that it really did not meet the case. I have since had a good many letters on this subject, bearing out that point of view. I do not intend to and shall not repeat at all the observations which I made on the Committee stage. I would merely say that I have received substantial confirmation of that point of view. The gravamen of the case is that the right hon. Gentleman's concessions are purely given with a view to facilitating appeals and to give those who con- sider themselves oppressed a greater facility for making appeals and having their case considered. This concession does not in any way meet the real case, which is that the basis of valuation is utterly unintelligible, and that hardships and anomalies on a very large scale do exist. I have had innumerable letters bearing out that point of view, and reiterating the demand that has been made for a thorough inquiry into the basis of this transaction. I reiterate, without repeating the arguments which have been used so often, and the contention I have formerly urged, that by this means alone will the right hon. Gentleman escape the confusion and chaos of widespread appeals throughout the country.

Colonel NEWMAN

Like the hon. Member for Harrow (Mr. Mosley), I also have had some share in receiving correspondence about the reassessment, but I disagree with him altogether. Since my right hon. Friend made his concession, I have not had a single letter except of praise. I have had letters congratulating the right hon. Gentleman, and, in a small way, thanking myself. Latterly I have not had a single letter of objection in connection with the scale of Inhabited House Duty—I have had one or two small complaints about graduation. So far as I am concerned, my correspondence has dried up altogether. I have had letters of thanks to the right hon. Gentleman, and he deserves the thanks of the country.

Question put, and agreed to.

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