HC Deb 08 December 1953 vol 521 cc1798-9
43. Mr. K. Thompson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why it is proposed to increase the valuation for rates of certain crematoria in England and Wales; if he will postpone the coming into force of such increases until after the proposed general revaluation of hereditaments has taken place; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Increases have been proposed in the case of certain crematoria which in the past have been allowed a specially favourable basis of assessment applicable to burial grounds, because the Inland Revenue are advised that that basis is not available for crematoria. I understand that the legal question involved is likely to be tested in the Courts. If the Inland Revenue view of the law is found to be correct, I see no reason to postpone its application.

Mr. Thompson

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this is a matter of very great concern in many localities, and will he ensure that no positive action is taken until the matter has been tested in the courts?

Mr. Butler

I said "If the Inland Revenue view…is found to be correct." We must await the case.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Does the right hon. Gentleman consider, on the grounds of general policy, that it is desirable to encourage crematoria?

Mr. Butler

That is a matter of opinion, but I should not like to dissent from the view of the right hon. Gentleman.