HC Deb 21 November 1950 vol 481 cc201-2
49. Mr. Houghton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will decentralise the work on Surtax assessments to local inspectors' offices and consider arranging for deductions to be made from salaries for Surtax along with Pay-As-You-Earn deductions for Income Tax.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Gaitskell)

Decentralisation of Surtax work would involve major changes in organisation which cannot be undertaken without detailed inquiry. The Inland Revenue intend to conduct such an inquiry when circumstances permit, but I cannot regard this as having very high priority at present.

I am not satisfied that a system of deducting Surtax from salary is either necessary or desirable, but I do not wish to prejudge a matter which will be within the terms of reference of the Royal Commission under Lord Justice Cohen.

Mr. Houghton

While not expecting my right hon. Friend to anticipate his Budget Statement, does he not agree that if there is to be any steep increase in taxation on higher incomes, some system of payment on easy terms will be needed?

Mr. Gaitskell

I think we must leave that sort of question to the Royal Commission.