HC Deb 25 June 1953 vol 516 cc2082-3
23. Mr. Houghton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many claims for repayment of Income Tax remained unsettled at 31st May, 1953; how many of these were received more than 14 days previously; and how many more than 28 days previously.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I regret that this information could not be obtained without a disproportionate amount of expense and effort and the delay of other work.

Mr. Houghton

Do I understand from the Financial Secretary that particulars which used to be kept of the progress with repayment claims is now being discontinued? If so, is not that a disadvantage in view of the fact that letters have been appearing recently in the columns of the "Financial Times," including both praise and blame? Is it not desirable that the Treasury should be in a position to make known to the public just what speed they are able to achieve in paying the money?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The hon. Gentleman is, I am sure, aware that there is a register in respect of repayment claims received other than through the P.A.Y.E. machinery, which is kept in each inspector's office. The collation and collection of all the statistics would, as the hon. Gentleman probably knows better than anybody else, entail heavy work on the staff of the Inland Revenue.