HC Deb 22 April 1947 vol 436 c807
50. Mr. Hurd

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the donations which farmers make to the Agricultural Disaster Fund will be treated as a business expense for Income Tax purposes.

Mr. Dalton

No, Sir.

Mr. Hurd

Cannot the Chancellor be rather more generous in this matter as the Fund being raised on the present basis of subscription will be quite inadequate to meet the losses, which are estimated at £20 million?

Mr. Dalton

We gave £1 million to the Lord Mayor's Fund and I have given an undertaking on behalf of His Majesty's Government to make a contribution substantially equal to what is raised by this Fund. If we were to do what the hon. Member suggests, it would only be a rather indirect method of subsidisation through an individual's Income Tax. I think it is much better to do the thing in a straightforward and direct contribution.

Major Legge-Bourke

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that some of the contributors to this Fund have themselves suffered, and, being more well paid than some of the other sufferers, they have felt it incumbent on them to give what they can? Would not the Chancellor of the Exchequer make a special case in such circumstances?

Mr. Dalton

I repeat that the way to deal with this is for His Majesty's Government to make a straightforward and direct contribution from public funds rather than to make an exceptional arrangement about Income Tax.

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