§ 3. Mr. Barter
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the amount claimed, or his estimate of the amount claimed, in the latest convenient year, by residential owner-occupiers as being payable by them in respect of their owner-occupied residential accommodation by way of 921 ground rent, and the amount of Income Tax at standard rate which they would be entitled to deduct from such payments.
I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer my hon. and learned Friend, the Financial Secretary gave him on 18th November.
§ Mr. Barter
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the figures apparently were not available at that time but that every taxpayer is required to complete on his return of income and claimed allowances a note of the claim he makes in respect of ground rent payments by him? Cannot my right hon. Friend give an answer?
The difficulty is that the details asked for are not available, because the taxation of ground rent is not normally tied up with the Schedule A assessments in respect of which they are paid. It is the aggregation of information which is not possible without a very great deal of expenditure of time.
§ 4. Mr. Barter
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what extent claims for relief from Income Tax, Schedule A, by virtue of payments of ground rent by residential owner-occupiers, have been taken into account in his estimate of a net revenue of £34 millions from Income Tax, Schedule A, as applied to residential owner-occupiers.
§ Mr. Barter
Is my right hon. Friend aware that if Schedule A tax for owner-occupiers were abolished, the tax paid on ground rents could be deducted under another Schedule? Will he bear in mind that whereas window tax lasted for 155 years, this iniquitous tax will have lasted 156 years up to the date of his next Budget? Does not he feel that the time has come to do away with Schedule A tax?
I have taken note of what my hon. Friend says, but his supplementary question is rather hypothetical.
§ 13. Mr. Awbery
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that one of the deterrents to a man purchasing his own home is the fact that he has to pay Schedule A tax on the house which he occupies; and if he will now give consideration to the reduction or abolition of this tax.
§ Mr. Awbery
Is the Chancellor aware that the Government have been advocating for a large number of years a property-owning democracy, inferring that we on this side of the House are opposed to people owning their own houses? Is he aware that this tax prevents people from purchasing their own houses, and that a man living in a house costing £3,000 has to pay 6s. 2d. a week as tax? Will he do something to relieve house owners; of this terrible burden?
I quite agree with the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, and I will take note of what he said in the second part.