HC Deb 25 April 1939 vol 346 cc994-5

Next, I must propose a modification both in Surtax and in Estate Duty by way of a percentage addition to the present rates. The Surtax payer suffered a 10 per cent, addition to the charge in the crisis Budget of 1931 at the same time when a whole series of additions were made to other taxes, most of which were subsequently reversed or modified in favour of the taxpayer, and any fair-minded man must recognise that the Surtax rates are already exceedingly high. Nevertheless, in applying the principle of increased contributions from all quarters, I cannot leave the Surtax rates unaltered this year, and I propose to modify them by adding a surcharge of a further 5 per cent. increase on the rates applying to all slices of income up to £8,000 and a further 10 per cent. increase of rates in respect of all income in excess of a total income of £8,000. The White Paper that will be distributed will contain the usual tables illustrating the effect of these increases, showing the increased amount payable by specimen incomes. I estimate that in the present year this change will give me a further £4,000,000 and in a full year £5,000,000.

In the case of Estate Duty I propose to add a surcharge of 10 per cent. of the existing duty on estates exceeding £50,000 in value. This will not increase the charge in respect of agricultural value for I am not proposing to disturb the existing provision of the law under which the agricultural value of agricultural land included in an estate is assessed at the rates laid down by the Finance Act, 1919. It is calculated that in the present year an additional sum of £3,000,000 will be collected from Estate Duty from this change and in a full year the amount is expected to be £5,000,000.