§ 34 and 35. Mr. KIMBALL
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he is aware that, since in many of the Midland districts the former local assessors of Income Tax have been pensioned, the general commissioners of taxes are finding it difficult to get these assessors to serve again because their remuneration will now be deducted from their pension and, in view of the fact that their past experience and local knowledge 1405 makes them particularly suitable, whether he is prepared to take any action to meet this situation;
(2) whether he is aware that the Board of Inland Revenue is now asking the general commissioners of taxes in certain Midland districts to appoint the existing collectors of Income Tax, who are civil servants under the control of the Board of Inland Revenue, as assessors of Income Tax; and will he take action to prevent the power to assess and to collect Income Tax from thus being concentrated in the same individual, in view of the fact that the House of Commons has refused to sanction such concentration as removing one of the remaining safeguards to the taxpayers?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Duff Cooper)
Prior to 1931, when the appointment of all collectors of taxes, with certain exceptions, was transferred to the Board of Inland Revenue, it was the ordinary practice for the general commissioners to appoint as assessor for any particular parish the person who was collector of taxes for that parish whether he held his appointment as collector from them or from the Board of Inland Revenue. I am not aware of any expression of opinion by the House of Commons which condemns this economical and practical course. With regard to pensioners it would be manifestly wrong to pay an assessor both pension and remuneration in respect of the same functions. I see no reason to question the propriety of the present rule, nor any grounds for altering it.
§ 36. Mr. KIMBALL
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will give an assurance that there is no intention to abolish the office of general commissioners of taxes, as these commissioners represent a safeguard between the taxpayers and the tax collectors?
§ Mr. COOPER
The office of general commissioner of Income Tax could only be abolished by legislation, and no legislation with this object is in contemplation.