HC Deb 17 October 1944 vol 403 cc2198-9
54. Professor Savory

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the official figures published in Dublin showing that Southern Irish people in Britain sent home in 1943 remittances amounting almost to £11,000,000 as compared with £6,800,000 in 1942 and only £600,000 in 1939; and whether he will state how much income tax has been paid on these sums.

Sir J. Anderson

I regret it is not possible to say what Income Tax has been paid on incomes earned in this country by persons making remittances to Eire.

Professor Savory

Is it the case that workmen from Eire who go away within six months, pay no Income Tax, whereas workmen from Ulster pay the whole of the tax when they get home? Is this fair as between one workman and another?

Sir J. Anderson

I do not think it is unfair. In the first place, the new system of Pay-as-you-earn ensures that the tax is collected where it is due. Secondly, as regards the comparison that my hon. Friend has drawn, it is not a question of whether a citizen of Eire, when working temporarily, pays Income Tax or not. It is a question of the authority to which he pays the tax. On the other hand a person who resides normally in Northern Ireland is resident within the United Kingdom and his Income Tax is collected on behalf of the Government of this country.

Mr. Shinwell

Are we to understand that natives of Eire working in this country are not subject to Pay-as-you-earn?

Sir. J. Anderson

I have said that Pay-as-you-earn ensures that tax is paid when it is due. It provides a substantial guarantee against evasion of liability. The question of the allocation of Income Tax as between Eire and this country is the subject of a special agreement.

Mr. Molson

Is it not the case that, where money has been collected under Pay-as-you-earn and an Irishman returns before six months, the whole of the money collected has to be refunded?

Sir J. Anderson

Only if it is due to be refunded, because of the arrangement between this country and Eire.

Dr. Summerskill

Is it possible for a man who has been here for five months to return to Eire for a month, and then come back for another five months and still be exempt from Income Tax?

Sir J. Anderson

The hon. Lady should have a little more faith in the efficiency of the Income Tax arrangements.