HC Deb 06 May 1941 vol 371 cc698-9
54. Mr. Benson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that a great number of Schedule A assessments were in excess of the true annual value of the properties concerned at the commencement of the risk period referred to in Section 19 of the War Damage Act, 1941, because the owners concerned, not being liable to Income Tax, did not trouble to claim the proper adjustment; and whether he is prepared to issue instructions which will ensure that, upon the facts being proved, war damage contribution shall not be charged on a contributory value greater than the true Schedule A annual value at the commencement of such risk period?

Sir K. Wood

The Section to which my hon. Friend refers provides that the contribution is to be charged on the basis of the Schedule A assessments as they stood, and there is no power to make such a variation as he suggests. I would remind my hon. Friend that, although it was recognised that there may be anomalies in individual cases between the Schedule A values of similar properties, it was considered essential in the circumstances of the present time to base the contribution on figures which are already available. I may point out that, in the case of owner-occupiers, regard is had to the annual value of the premises as assessed for rating purposes in determining the annual value for purposes of Schedule A, and in this way a fall in annual value would be reflected in the Schedule A assessment even though the owner-occupier is exempt from Income Tax.

Mr. Bellenger

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, under one of the Finance Acts, it is possible to obtain something like a reassessment of the value according to the actual income received? Is it proposed to charge a premium on the Schedule A assessment at the last quin-quennial valuation, or on the revised value which the inspector of taxes puts on it, according to the income received and the statement sent to him by the taxpayer at the end of the financial year?

Sir K. Wood

I shall be glad if my hon. Friend will put his Question on the Paper.