HC Deb 15 October 1940 vol 365 cc590-1
57. Sir R. Young

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has considered the financial obligations of freehold and leasehold owners of houses destroyed by enemy action; and what concessions are contemplated in regard to Income Tax on the annual value and ground rents payable by the owners of small houses?

Sir K. Wood

The liabilities of freeholders, leaseholders and others in respect of the repair of and rent for houses which have suffered war damage have already been dealt with by Parliament in the Landlord and Tenant (War Damage) Act, 1939. These and other similar matters will also arise in connection with the revised proposals for the payment of compensation which are in preparation. So far as Income Tax, Schedule A, is concerned, the position is that, on a rented house being rendered uninhabitable by enemy action, no tax will be chargeable unless the rent continues to be payable. In the latter event, however, tax would be charged, though limited, if necessary, to tax on the amount of the rent payable. As regards Income Tax payable by owner-occupiers, any question of liability and possible relief would depend upon the facts of the particular case.

Sir R. Young

In connection with repairs to these properties, will there be any abatement made for the time the houses are unoccupied?

Sir K. Wood

I think we shall have to decide each case on its merits. If the hon. Gentleman would like me to look into any case, I shall be glad to do it.

Sir William Davison

Is my right hon. Friend aware that landlords are often prepared to make a substantial reduction in the rent in the case of people suffering as a result of war damage, but that they find they not only lose the amount of the rent they are remitting, but are left with a heavy liability in respect of property tax? Will he look into that?

Sir K. Wood

I am afraid that many difficulties will arise, as my hon. Friend will appreciate.