HC Deb 12 March 1947 vol 434 cc1316-7
36. Mr. Price-White

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what direct taxation is paid per annum by an African in Kenya and Uganda, with an annual income of £150 and £10, respectively.

Mr. Creech Jones

There is no Income Tax on incomes below £200 in either Kenya or Uganda, but direct taxation is levied on African and non-African alike in the form of Poll Tax and Personal Tax respectively. I am unable to say what direct tax Africans in these territories would pay on incomes of £150 and £10 since Poll Tax, which is payable by every adult African man, varies according to district, area, and tribe. A maximum limit of Sh.20 per annum in Kenya and Sh.21 in Uganda is, however, laid down by law. In Kenya, the rates vary between Sh.6 and Sh.14 and, in Uganda, between Sh.8 and Sh.21.

Mr. Price-White

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that the existing system of taxation on Africans in these territories is equitably distributing the burden in accordance with the individual's ability to pay?

Mr. Creech Jones

Yes, Sir. This matter is continuously engaging the attention of the local administrations, and from time to time adjustments are made to ease the incidence where greater poverty exists.

Mr. Alpass

Can my right hon. Friend say how many of the workers there are receiving such a disgracefully low income as £10 a year?

Mr. Creech Jones

The average wage rate in East Africa is very low.