HC Deb 27 April 1944 vol 399 cc927-9
57. Sir H. Williams

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has any statement to make in respect of the treatment of hon. Members under the Pay-as-you-Earn scheme; and is he aware that the arrangement proposed by the Board of Inland Revenue will inflict great hardship upon some hon. Members.

Sir J. Anderson

I understand that my hon. Friend's question relates to the allowance for expenses. The expenses to be allowed under "Pay-as-you-Earn" for the year 1944–45 will be the actual expenses incurred in the year. In fixing the code numbers for the year 1944–45 provisional allowances have been given based upon the expenses allowed in the assessments for the year 1943–44. These allowances will be adjusted when the actual expenses for the year are known. If any hon. Member feels that the provisional allowance is inadequate the Inland Revenue authorities will be prepared to consider the case in the light of his current expenditure.

Sir H. Williams

Why has a notice been addressed to all Members of Parliament which is quite contrary in effect to what the right hon. Gentleman has just read out?

Sir J. Anderson

I think my hon. Friend is under a misapprehension. The effect of that notice is simply to tell Members that the record of expenses in the last year—1943–44—will not be called for. It is true, and I regret it, that the notice did not go on to say that the coding for this year will be based on the allowance made for last year which related, as the law then stood, to the expenses of the previous year.

Mr. W. J. Brown

Do we understand that that part of the circular to which reference has been made, lays it down that there will be a standard deduction of £100 only, in respect of expenses?

Sir J. Anderson

There is no such thing in the circular as far as I know.

Sir W. Davison

Is it not a fact that anyone reading the circular would consider that only £100 of expenses was to be allowed? There is no suggestion that the figure for the previous year would be adopted.

Sir J. Anderson

I have said that I regret that the circular did not go on to make it clear that the actual allowances made in respect of last year would be provisionally repeated this year.