HC Deb 31 May 1938 vol 336 cc1819-21
41. Captain Ramsay

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the total assessment to rates in each county of Scotland, respectively, of sheds or greenhouses having a superficial area of 100 square feet or less; and how many such structures this assessment represents?

Mr. Colville

I regret that the information asked for is not available.

Captain Ramsay

In view of the fact that there is no uniformity of practice and that in various counties in Scotland entirely vexatious assessments are being made, will the Secretary of State have the matter looked into with a view of possible legislation?

Mr. Colville

That raises a rather wider question.

45. Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that legislation has been announced which will have the effect of stabilising the existing valuations in England at their present figure until 1941; that in Scotland these valuations are constantly under review on account of the valuation roll being prepared each year; that since these valuations in both countries form the basis of Schedule A assessment to Income Tax, owners of property and local authorities in Scotland are likely to be prejudiced; and whether, in order to equalise the position, he will consider making some concession to Schedule A taxpayers in Scotland?

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Captain Euan Wallace)

I assume that the legislation to which my hon. Friend refers is the Rating and Valuation (Postponement of Valuations) Act, 1938, which provides for the postponement until 1st April, 1941, of the coming into force of the new valuation list for rating purposes in England. He is, however, under a misapprehension in supposing that in England the valuations for rating purposes form the basis of the Schedule A assessments. Those latter assessments are separately computed and the next revaluation for that purpose, which will come into force for the year 1941–42, will not be affected by the postponement of the rating revaluation. In these circumstances my right hon. Friend does not consider that owners of property in Scotland will be prejudiced as compared with owners in England; and I would remind my hon. Friend that while the valuation roll in Scotland is revised annually for rating purposes, there is no similar annual revision for Schedule A. For Schedule A there is, as in England, a revaluation every five years and it is only upon such a revaluation that the revised rating figures will affect the values of properties for Income Tax purposes.

Mr. Bellenger

Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman give an assurance that the right of the taxpayer to have reconsideration of his Schedule A assessment at the end of each financial year, if circumstances so warrant, will not be interfered with by this legislation?

Captain Wallace

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will put that question on the Paper.

Mr. H. G. Williams

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that, despite the passing of the recent Act of Parliament, considerable perturbation has been caused in some areas owing to the issue of a circular by the Ministry of Health urging local authorities to continue the revaluation, and having regard to the recent decision of Parliament to the contrary, will my right hon. and gallant Friend look into this matter, which is causing grave alarm?

Captain Wallace

I am afraid I must ask for notice of that question.

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