HC Deb 03 June 1930 vol 239 cc1961-2
50. Mr. A. M. SAMUEL

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can give a rough estimate of the total amount of Estate Duty received by the Exchequer in any one of the last five years, arising from the inclusion in deceased estates of the value of the life insurance policies due to deceased persons upon whose estates duty was payable; if so, to what extent the aggregation of life policies with estates has increased on average the percentage rate of duty upon deceased estates; and, if such information is not available, will he have an approximate estimate made for the guidance of the Committee before the conclusion of the Committee stage of the Finance Bill?


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of the yield of the Estate Duties is due to the addition to the total of the estate of the proceeds of insurance policies on the life of the deceased holder of the estate?


Table 18 of the recently published 72nd Report of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue (Command Paper No. 3500) contains a classification of all property coming under charge to Estate Duty for the year 1928–29 and the amount of insurance policy moneys is shown separately, divided by ranges of estates. Of a total gross capital value of £563¾ millions coming under charge that year insurance policy moneys accounted for £18,650,000, that is 3.3 per cent. of the total. It is estimated that the amount of duty levied on the policy moneys was about £1,600,000, representing about 2.2 per cent. of the total yield of duty for the year. But I fear that it is quite impossible to frame any such estimate as is asked for in the latter part of the question by the hon. Member for Farnham (Mr. A. M. Samuel).


The right hon. Gentleman admits that it has put up the average percentage of Death Duties?


Certainly, but the argument is that there is no reason why these insurance policies should be separated from the total of the estate and charged separately. The hon. Member will surely realise, if that were done, what an opening for evasion there would be.


The right hon. Gentleman is under a misapprehension; does he realise that the aggregation of increases in life policies does benefit the revenue?


Most certainly.