HC Deb 06 December 1949 vol 470 cc1702-4
47. Mr. Palmer

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what principles he applies to the assessment for Income Tax purposes of moneys used by industrial and other companies for political campaigns; and if he will state the extent to which the cost of such campaigns rank as a business expense.

53. Mr. Carmichael

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his regulations permit the sums at present being spent by the industrial life offices, sugar-refining and cement companies on anti-nationalisation propaganda to be allocated to expenses or make them liable to assessment for taxation.

Sir S. Cripps

As I explained in reply to a Question put by the hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Symonds) on 21st June last, expenditure by traders for political purposes is not permitted to be deducted in computing profits for the purposes of Income Tax or Profits Tax, and any claim to deduct the costs to which my hon. Friends refer would certainly be contested by the Inland Revenue.

Mr. H. D. Hughes

Yes, but in view of the increasing reliance of the Conservative Party on this type of contribution from vested interests, is my right hon. and learned Friend quite sure that the resources at the disposal of his Department for checking up on this are adequate?

Sir S. Cripps

Yes, I am quite satisfied.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

In view of the complete dependence of the Labour Party on the Co-operatives and trades unions, can I ask the Chancellor whether the so-called education fund of the Cooperative Societies comes under this heading for tax purposes?

Sir S. Cripps

Perhaps the hon. and gallant Gentleman will put that question on the Paper.

Mr. Carmichael

May I ask the Chancellor whether inquiries are being made now, particularly with regard to the industrial assurance offices and the spending they are engaged in at the moment, to see if they are complying with the regulations as laid down in the answer?

Sir S. Cripps

Wherever Income Tax returns are made this matter is examined in the ordinary course of business.

Mr. Pickthorn

In view of the particular competence of the right hon. and learned Gentleman, might he not explain to the House and to his hon. Friend behind him exactly what "vested interests" means?

Mr. Hughes

I will tell the hon. Gentleman afterwards.