§ 9. Mr. Nabarro
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it is with his authority that tax inspectors in certain places are sending printed letters to owner-occupiers claiming maintenance relief for Schedule A tax saying that assessment of claims will be delayed due to shortage of experienced staff and a large increase in the numbers of claims, and are verbally attributing blame for this state of affairs to the hon. Member for Kidderminster; what increase in claims has occurred since last summer when only one in ten of home-owners was submitting a claim for maintenance relief; and what further steps he proposes to take to attract a maintenance-relief claim from every owner-occupier.
§ Sir E. Boyle
Inspectors of taxes have received no special instructions on this point. There is some evidence of a moderate increase in the number of maintenance claims compared with last year, but figures will not be available until after the end of the year. The steps already taken to bring this relief to the notice of taxpayers are in my view sufficient.
§ Mr. Nabarro
Would not my hon. Friend agree that last summer only one in ten owner-occupiers of houses was submitting a maintenance relief claim for Schedule A? How is it possible, therefore, for the Treasury to claim that 528 adequate steps are being taken to bring this relief to the notice of owner-occupiers? Could net the Chancellor of the Exchequer enclose with every assessment an appropriately worded note, luridly illustrated, and containing the words, "Your Chancellor expects that every Schedule A taxpayer will make his maintenance relief claim and will do his duty this day."?
§ Sir E. Boyle
I am not sure that we need go quite as far as that. I assure my hon. Friend that I am watching this matter carefully, but I believe that the steps we have taken are sufficient.
§ Mr. F. Harris
To avoid the problem, would not my hon. Friend consider abolishing Schedule A altogether?