HC Deb 02 July 1951 vol 489 cc2038-9
Mr. Jay

I beg to move, in page 18, line 7, at the beginning, to insert: subject, as respects losses, to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section. This Amendment and those in lines 7 and 30, are designed to carry out the undertaking which I gave affecting the Profits Tax paid by public utilities. The House will recall that this Clause brings public utility companies within the scope of the Profits Tax at 10 per cent. It was argued by several hon. Members in Committee that in addition we should allow losses during the previous six years to be set off against profits for Profits Tax purposes. It seemed to us that it was going back too far to say six years, but that it was justifiable to go back to 1947, which was the year when the Profits Tax was substantially amended to its present form. What this Amendment does is to enable losses back to 1947 to be carried forward for that purpose.

Mr. S. O. Davies (Merthyr Tydvil)

I am certain there are hon. Members who are pleased with the concession that has already been announced by the Financial Secretary, but may I be allowed to express my profound disappointment at the narrow way in which the Treasury have drafted this Amendment. Surely it could have been extended to cover certain public utility undertakings entirely run by local government bodies. Representations have been made, not entirely on the Floor of this House, to the Treasury, and I want to express my disappointment that more consideration was not given to them.

10.0 p.m.

I am expressing my disappointment at the very narrow limitations of the Amendment, and asking the Treasury to reconsider Clause 24 and have the good sense, if not the common decency, not to try to apply Profits Tax to undertakings which are making no profit at all. I should like to develop that point, but you might find it would be out of order. Mr. Speaker. A protest should be made, and I make the protest, at the somewhat callous way in which the Treasury are making this proposal.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: In page 18, line 7, after "incurred," insert: in any accounting period ending.

In line 30, at the end, insert: (3) Notwithstanding anything in proviso (b) to subsection (1) of this section, there shall he carried forward under paragraph 2 of the Fourth Schedule to the Finance Act, 1937, to the first accounting period ending after the end of the year nineteen hundred and fifty, and, if and so far as is necessary, to subsequent accounting periods, the amount, if any, which could have been carried forward to that accounting period if the said subsection (1) had applied to all accounting periods ending after the end of the year nineteen hundred and forty-six:

Provided that—

  1. (a) in no event shall any loss incurred in any accounting period ending at or before the end of the year nineteen hundred and forty-six he taken into account for the purposes of this subsection; and
  2. (b) where an accounting period falls partly before and partly after the end of the year nineteen hundred and forty-six, the loss, if any, for so much of that period as fell after the end of that year shall be so taken into account instead of the loss, if any, for the whole of the period, and the provisions of section forty-seven of the Finance Act, 1947, shall, with any necessary adaptations, have effect for the purpose of determining the first-mentioned loss as they had effect for the purpose of determining the profits tax payable for so much of any chargeable accounting period as fell after the end of that year.—[Mr. Jay.]