§ Mr. Mitchison
I beg to move, in page 50, line I, to leave out "ten thousand" and insert "twelve thousand five hundred".
I think that it would be convenient for the Committee if we could at the same time discuss the following Amendment, in page 50 leave out lines 5 to 9 and add:
|"Not exceeding £10,000||Nil|
|Exceeding £10,000 and not exceeding £11,000||2|
|Exceeding £11,000 and not exceeding £12,500||4".|
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Mitchison
The Amendment is designed to go one step further in this respect than the Government have already gone. It concerns the exemption from Estate Duty in favour of small estates—a duty which has lasted for a great many years and which, hitherto, has ranged up to £4,000. The Government would increase the exemption up to £5,000 and make the appropriate alterations at the bottom of the scale to hitch it on, so to speak, to the existing table, but we propose, faithfully following an interjection made by my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) in the Budget debate, to raise the £5,000 to £10,000 and, again, to make the appropriate changes at the bottom of the scale. The substantial point is that we wish to increase the exemption to £10,000 in respect of the existing £4,000 or the Government's £5,000.
I find from my experience in my constituency—and I have no doubt that other hon. Members find the same—that there are many cases nowadays where a middling or small estate—and we are talking about that kind of property now —consists largely of a house in which the family has lived. I suspect that the real reason why the Government have introduced their change—and I do not wish to quarrel with them over it, although it does not go as far as we would wish—is the increasing value of houses throughout the country, particularly in the towns.
I need not elaborate upon this, for we all know about the rise in the prices of houses. They have gone up at a very rapid rate and to a considerable extent. Where one used to pay so much for a house one must now pay three times as much, certainly in the large towns. This has particularly affected the type of house in which the typical small man lives; a house of a moderate size, saleable under present conditions and very much favoured at the moment for good or ill as a result of the Government's failure to arrange for sufficient houses to let. I will not develop this argument at length. We are debating the Finance Bill and not the Government's housing policy. We 691 all know that the effect of recent legislation has been to oblige more and more people to buy houses. We can argue about whether or not that is an advantage another time. The result of it, one might say, has been to steady the market, although it has really pushed up prices considerably. This is substantially the point behind the Amendment.
I hope that no one will put forward the time-honoured and totally untrue argument that the Labour Party has any objection to owner-occupiers. Indeed, we on this side of the Committee have done more for them in the past than hon. Members opposite. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] We always get those sort of noises made by hon. Members opposite when this is said, but it is we who introduced the improvements. However, for present purposes these remarks are off the mark. Perhaps it was my fault for trailing my coat a little.
We are really considering the question of small estates, but with the principle of my remarks in view. The value of money has changed and the result has been that what appears to be worth so much in terms of spending nowadays probably corresponds to about one-third of that sum years ago. I will leave the matter as vague as that. The increase from £4,000 to £5,000 is all right as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough to meet the needs of the situation. It is, therefore, not just in a sort of huckstering spirit of who can offer most, but in the real belief that more ought to be done in these cases, that I move this Amendment.
Judging from the figures we have been given of the effect of the Government's Amendment, the cost will be substantial but hardly prohibitive, and if anyone intends to make nasty comparisons, I can only say—just wait until we come to the cost of the concession on stamps. Again, if we are to be told that this is really too much at once, I think that this is a case where the enlargements of the limit of exemption have fallen behind the sheer rapidity in the rise, in this case, of house prices, and that it is time that we caught up with what has happened. So it is mainly on the ground of the rise in the cost of house property—and there are numerous cases where by far the 692 largest part of the estate takes that form —that this Amendment has been put down.
I would add that where one has an estate that substantially consists of nothing but a house, it may be very difficult to raise the money to pay Estate Duty. I do not say that it will be impossible, but it may make things much harder. I am trying to put what I believe to be a reasonable and fair case in as quiet and reasonable a way as I possibly can and, once again, I assure the Financial Secretary that I am laying no traps for him, but merely trying to keep him up to date.
§ Mr. Donald Wade (Huddersfield, West)
I support the Amendment, or at least the intention behind it. It is true that this staggering increase in the value of house property, particularly in London and the South-East, can have serious effects on an estate consisting mainly of a house and not other substantial assets. Two or three sisters may live together, having no great savings, and die one after the other in a comparatively short time. In such a case, there are no special provisions for exemption as there are, I think, in the case of husband and wife. If that estate consists mainly of a house, the house simply must be sold to pay the Estate Duty. That is the problem we have to face.
§ Mr. Bruce Millan (Glasgow, Craigton)
While I support the Amendment, I cannot do so with great enthusiasm if it is to be considered in isolation. There is a very strong argument for removing the lower rates of Estate Duty, but T would prefer that to be done as part of a very much more radical reform of the duty as a whole. With Estate Duty, as with a number of other taxes—but with Estate Duty more than any other—we have the rather absurd position of high nominal rates of tax, on the one hand, but very much lower effective rates of tax, on the other. That is an extremely unsatisfactory position, and gives us the worst of all worlds.
From the present Government's point of view, that is probably not a bad thing. Pointing to rates of Estate Duty that go up to no less than 80 per cent., they can say, "Look how we tax capital. Look how radical we are in the distribution of capital." They can use that 693 argument particularly when the complaint may be made that we do not have a capital gains tax, because they can then say that we do not need a capital gains tax or anything else because we have these high rates of Estate Duty.
It is true that we do have high rates of Estate Duty, but the simple fact is that those high rates have made very little impact on the distribution of wealth. Wealth is still remarkably unequally distributed, as one can see by reference to the Estate Duty statistics. About 2 per cent. of the estates passing in any one year comprise about 50 per cent. of the capital involved—
§ The Temporary Chairman (Sir Herbert Butcher)
The hon. Member is going somewhat wide of the Amendment before the Committee.
§ Mr. Millan
I am only relating this to the Amendment, Sir Herbert. If you will be good enough to be patient for a moment more you will probably see that my argument is relevant.
While we have this high rate at the top end of the scale we have, at the other end, low rates, which we are now amending by the Government's Clause, resulting in the bringing into Estate Duty of large numbers of small estates. I estimate that probably 40,000 estates of up to £10,000 are falling into Estate Duty annually out of a total of, perhaps, 65,000. That large number of small estates clutters up the Revenue in its administration of the whole of Estate Duty.
There is, therefore, very strong argument for removing them from the duty altogether, and allowing the Revenue to get on with what ought to be its proper job of looking after the administration of Estate Duty on the much larger estates. We clutter up our administration with all these small estates, but do not effectively tax the much larger estates.
Even if the yield of taxation were to be exactly the same, I would much rather we had more rates for Estate Duty, and very much more effective rates. That would involve a new look at the whole question—
§ The Temporary Chairman
I would rather the hon. Gentleman did not pursue that argument at this moment.
§ Mr. Millan
The trouble with this Amendment is that while it tackles the problem at the lower end of the scale, it does absolutely nothing about tackling it at the higher end. While I would have no objection at all to the kind of remission proposed by the Amendment —which, I understand, would cost about £10 million—my support would be much more enthusiastic if I thought that, at the same time, we were to do something very much more effective about Estate Duty, taken as a whole, than is at present the case.
There is no sign at all in the kind of minor reform the Government make in Clause 49 that they have the slightest intention of doing that. For that reason, I can give the Amendment only the most qualified kind of support.
§ Mr. Graham Page
It should not be thought that silence on the back benches on this side of the Committee implies that we are not very anxious to see further reductions in Estate Duty. This Clause is another step made by the Government towards relieving small estates of duty. It is another instalment, as it were, and the Amendment is a rather Oliver Twist Amendment, asking for more. Both sides of the Committee would be pleased to see greater relief given to the smaller estates whenever the Chancellor finds he has the money to devote to this purpose.
The hon. Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Wade) mentioned three sisters. One does not need to go as far as that. I have an example of two sisters living very simply and yet, because they died within a short time of one another, their very small estates became liable to duty. The more we can relieve these sort of estates from duty, the better. There are tragic circumstances where several members of a family die about the same time and the Estate Duty accumulates. I should have thought that the figure in the Amendment is too low once the Chancellor can find the funds to do this. I hope that we shall continue this process of relieving small estates from Estate Duty, and for that reason I welcome the Clause.
§ 6.0 p.m.
Mr. J. T. Price
I rise to express my own scepticism along with that already expressed by my hon. Friend the Member 695 for Glasgow, Craigton (Mr. Millan). I am prepared to concede that the case for the genuine small estate has been most reasonably and temperately made out by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison). We all recognise that many people who live in their own houses may have insurance policies or an annuity by way of superannuation which is transferable to next-of-kin in the case of widows and which is assessed for Estate Duty on its capital value.
I would not stand in the way of relief being granted to a genuine successor to a small estate where otherwise there would be hardship. We are all familiar with the family left with a little property in bricks and mortar, but with no income in the way of liquid assets to go with it, but, quite seriously, I look at the question like my hon. Friend the Member for Craigton in expressing a sceptical view of the Amendment. I am prepared to support it for the reasons given, and if the resources can be found to meet it, that would be very desirable.
We are, however, all sufficiently sophisticated to know that although high rates of Estate Duty are chargeable at the upper end of the scale—for example a 40 per cent. rate at about £50,000, and an 80 per cent. rate for the tycoons who are in the millionaire class—people who have large estates make arrangements for their successors to avoid as much imposition of Estate Duty as possible. There are all kinds of covenants—
I am sorry, Sir Herbert. I want to keep strictly in order, but this Amendment is related to the whole scale of Estate Duty.
There are only three categories of duty in the Amendment, but surely the logic of it, which we on this side of the Committee may live to regret, is that it may give encouragement to the Conservative Party in the future to tamper with the upper range of Estate Duty. If that happens, we shall have something to say. I do not believe that receipts from Estate Duty are anywhere near in true relation to the totality of the estates. The total global Estate Duty does not bear any 696 relationship to the increased prosperity of the wealthy classes in this country. If I may say so without offence, and with the greatest good will to everybody in the Committee, I am being strictly liberal in this. I make no party "crack" about it. The whole spectrum of Estate Duty—
§ The Temporary Chairman
Order. We are dealing only with the Amendment which is before the Committee.
In that case, I will keep off the spectrum, Sir Herbert. After having no doubt wearied the Committee by this dissertation, I would say, in conclusion, that while I support the Amendment, because I think that in the genuine case it will do good, overall I am critical of it because it may open the door to other things.
§ Mr. Barber
In view of what the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. J. T. Price) has just said, I rise with the best of intentions to do what I can to answer the debate. I am sure that we all listened with interest to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Craigton (Mr. Millan) who, in two-and-a-half minutes, managed to mention Estate Duty, an inheritance tax, a wealth tax and a capital gains tax. I doubt, Sir Herbert, with you in the Chair, whether I shall follow the hon. Member in that respect.
The Amendments are simple in effect. They would replace the proposal contained in the Clause for increasing the Estate Duty exemption limit with proposals of a wider character. Under the Clause, the exemption limit is to be raised from £4,000 to £5,000, with consequential adjustments. The Amendments would raise the limit to £10,000 with other adjustments. The question at issue is simple. My hon. Friend the Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page) referred rightly to what had been done in the past. I remind the Committee that this is the third occasion in the last nine years when the Conservative Government have raised the exemption limit. In 1954, it was raised from £2,000 to £3,000. Last year, it was raised from £3,000 to £4,000, and now, again, my right hon. Friend proposes to raise it to £5,000.
As the hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) reminded us, when my right hon. Friend was 697 announcing this additional step in his Budget statement, the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) took the somewhat unusual course of intervening to inform the Committee that he regarded the move as trifling. This seems to me a somewhat odd comment to come from the Opposition. In the first place, we should remember that after raising the exemptlon limit in 1946 the Labour Government never bothered with it again during the whole of their period of office.
The cost of the Labour Government's action in 1946 was only £500,000 more than the proposal of my right hon. Friend, which the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East now calls trifling. The hon. Member, of course, may have something far from trifling in mind, because on that one and only occasion when the Labour Government raised the exemption limit they increased the Estate Duty to yield an additional £20 million. That may be the sort of thing that the hon. Members for Westhoughton and Craigton have in mind.
There is a second reason why it is odd to describe this proposal as trifling, and think that this would please the hon. Member for Craigton. My right hon. Friend's proposal would free altogether from Estate Duty one-fifth of all estates at present paying Estate Duty. In addition, another quarter would receive additional benefits from a reduction in the rates. I agree, of course, that it would he attractive to do what is suggested in the Amendments. Obviously, it is something that would be welcomed throughout the country, but it would cost 1:8½ million in a full year and we have
§ to consider whether relief, costing about £8 million to £9 million in Estate Duty, should have this further priority beyond that proposed by my right hon. Friend this year, unless, of course, one were introducing a wealth tax to tax the very same people while they were alive.
§ My right hon. Friend has taken what I think the whole Committee will agree is a useful step forward in exempting the one-fifth of all estates which pay duty and benefiting another quarter. While I appreciate the points which have been made by hon. Members opposite, and though I hope that, in the future, we may be able to carry on with the good work which has been done by successive Chancellors in the past few years, I cannot advise the Committee to go further this year and I must therefore, ask that these Amendments be rejected.
§ Mr. Mitchison
I always know when the Government are in difficulties. They begin not by defending their own case, but by selecting, in a very selective fashion, certain facts from the past. There is one which they always omit, the last war. We were in power quite soon after it.
As to the cost of what we suggest, I will not repeat the figures. The cost of the Stamp Duty concessions is four or five times what is asked for here, and what we propose is a far more necessary step in a far more necessary direction.
§ Question put, That "ten thousand" stand part of the Clause:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 191, Noes 131.701
|Division No. 122.]||AYES||[6.10 p.m.|
|Allason, James||Boyle, At. Hon. Sir Edward||Courtney, Cdr. Anthony|
|Arbuthnot, John||Braine, Bernard||Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne)|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Brewis, John||Critchley, Julian|
|Awdry, Daniel (Chippenham)||Brooman-White, R.||Crowder, F. P.|
|Balniel, Lord||Brown, Alan (Tottenham)||Curran, Charles|
|Barber, Anthony||Bullus, Wing Commander Eric||Currie, G. B. H.|
|Barlow, Sir John||Burden, F. A.||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry|
|Barter, John||Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)||Digby, Simon Wingfield|
|Batsford, Brian||Carr, Compton (Barons Court)||Drayson, G. B.|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)||Carr, Robert (Mitcham)||du Cann, Edward|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Chichester-Clark, R.||Duncan, Sir James|
|Bell, Ronald||Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)||Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Cos & Fhm)||Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)||Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn|
|Berkeley, Humphry||Clarke, Brig. Terence(Portsmth, W.)||Errington, Sir Eric|
|Biffen, John,||Cleaver, Leonard||Farey-Jones, F. W.|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Cooke, Robert||Fell, Anthony|
|Bingham, R. M.||Cooper, A. E.||Finlay, Graeme|
|Bishop, F. P.||Cooper-Key, Sir Neill||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.|
|Bourne-Arton, A.||Corfield, F. V.||Gammans, Lady|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. John||Coulson, Michael||Gardner, Edward|
|Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)||Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey(Sut'nC'dfield)||Renton, Rt. Hon. David|
|Goodhew, Victor||Longbottom, Charles||Ridley, Hon. Nicholas|
|Grant-Ferris, R.||Longden, Gilbert||Robson Brown, Sir William|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Loveys, Walter H.||Roots, William|
|Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn||Russell, Ronald|
|Gurden, Harold||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Sharples, Richard|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||MacArthur, Ian||Shaw, M.|
|Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)||McLaren, Martin||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Maclay, Rt. Hon. John||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)|
|Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Maolean,Sir Fitzroy(Bute&N.Ayrs)||Smyth, Rt. Hon. Brig. Sir John|
|Harvey, Sir Arthur vere (Macclesf'd)||Macleod, Rt. Hon. Iain (Enfield, W.)||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Hastings, Stephen||McMaster, Stanley R.||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Macpherson, Rt. Hn. Niall(Dumfries)||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Hiley, Joseph||Maitland, Sir John||Tapsell, Peter|
|Hill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Marples, Rt. Hon. Ernest||Taylor, Frank (M'ch'st'r, Moss Side)|
|Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)||Marshall, Douglas||Teeling, Sir William|
|Hirst, Geoffrey||Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)||Temple, John M.|
|Holland, Philip||Mawby, Ray||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Hope, Rt. Hon. Lord John||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Hopkins, Alan||Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|Hornby, R. P.||Mills, Stratton||Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon|
|Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Dame P.||Mlscampbell, Norman||Turner, Colin|
|Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John||Morgan, William||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Hughes-Young, Michael||Morrison, John||Tweedsmulr, Lady|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark||Nabarro, Sir Gerald||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|James, David||Heave, Alrey||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Page, John (Harrow, West)||Vickers, Miss Joan|
|Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Page, Graham (Crosby)||wakefield, Sir Waveli|
|Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)||Walder, David|
|Johnson Smith, Geoffrey||Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)||Walker, Peter|
|Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Peel, John||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. Sir Derek|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Aubrey (Hall Green)||Percival, Ian||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Kaberry, Sir Donald||Plckthorn, Sir Kenneth||Williams, Dudley (Exeter)|
|Kerans, Cdr. J. S.||Pitman, Sir James||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Kerr, Sir Hamilton||Pitt, Dame Edith||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Kershaw, Anthony||Powell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch||Wise, A. R.|
|Kirk, Peter||Price, David (Eastlelgh)||Woodhouse, C. M.|
|Lagden, Godfrey||Prior, J. M. L.||Woollam, John|
|Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Pym, Francis||Worsley, Marcus|
|Leavey, J. A.||Rawlinson, Sir Peter|
|Leburn, Gilmour||Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Rees, Hugh||Mr. Ian Fraser and|
|Linstead, Sir Hugh||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Mr. Gordon Campbell.|
|Albu, Austen||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||McKay, John (Wallsend)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Grey, Charles||McLeavy, Frank|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)|
|Bence, Cyril||Grimond, Rt. Hon. J.||Mallalieu, J.P.W. (Huddersfield, E.)|
|Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)||Manuel, Archie|
|Benson, Sir George||Hannan, William||Marsh, Richard|
|Blackburn, F.||Harper, Joseph||Mayhew, Christopher|
|Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leies, S.W.)||Hart, Mrs. Judith||Mendelson, J. J.|
|Boyden, James||Hayman, F. H.||Millan, Bruce|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Healey, Denis||Mitchison, G. R.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Beiper)||Henderson,Rt.Hn.Arthur(RwlyRegis)||Morris, John|
|Callaghan, James||Herbison, Miss Margaret||Moyle, Arthur|
|Carmichael, Neil||Hilton, A. V.||Neal, Harold|
|Castle, Mrs. Barbara||Holman, Percy||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)|
|Chapman, Donald||Houghton, Douglas||Oram, A, E.|
|Collick, Percy||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Paget, R. T.|
|Cronin, John||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)|
|Crosland, Anthony||Hunter, A. E.||Parker, John|
|Crossman, R. H. S.||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Popplewell, Ernest|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Irving Sydney (Dartford)||Prentice, R. E.|
|Dalyell, Tam||Jeger, George||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Darling, George||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Probert, Arthur|
|Dempsey, James||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Pursey, Cmdr. Harry|
|Diamond, John||Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.)||Randall, Harry|
|Dodds, Norman||Kenyon, Clifford||Reynolds, G. W.|
|Donnelly, Desmond||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. C.||King, Dr. Horace||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Edwards, Waiter (Stepney)||Lawson, George||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Fernyhough, E.||Ledger, Ron||Ross, William|
|Fletcher, Eric||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Royle, Charles (Salford, West)|
|Foot, Dingle (Ipswich)||Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Forman, J. C.||Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Lubbock, Eric||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Mahon, Or. J. Dickson||Skeffington, Arthur|
|George,LadyMeganLioyd(Crmthn)||MacColl, James||Small, William|
|Gooch, E. G.||McInnes, James||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Steele, Thomas||Wade, Donald||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Stewart, Michael (Fulham)||Warbey, William||Woof, Robert|
|Stonehouse, John||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)||Wyatt, Woodrow|
|Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Vauxhall)||White, Mrs. Eirene||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Swingler, Stephen||Wilkins, W. A.||Zilliacus, K.|
|Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)||Willey, Frederick|
|Thompson, Dr. Alan (Dunfermline)||Williams. D. J. (Neath)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Thorpe, Jeremy||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)||Mr. McCann and Mr. Redhead.|
|Tomney, Frank||Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)|
§ Question proposed, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.
§ Mr. Norman Pannell (Liverpool, Kirkdale)
I speak briefly to the Clause because, in past years, I have strongly urged that concessions should be made for the smaller estates. Although I welcome the concessions made in this Clause, I do not think that they go far enough. Particularly do I welcome the exemption of estates up to £5,000. That is a matter of simple justice. I did not support the last Amendment because I felt that to give exemption to estates up to £10,000 would give disproportionate relief to. them and, in view of the cost involved, would limit the opportunity of making concessions in other directions which I have in mind.
What I feel is particularly anomalous is the comparatively high rate of duty charged on estates between £8,000 and £17,500. In effect, the Clause affects only estates up to £8,000—
§ The Temporary Chairman
Order. The hon. Gentleman is getting away from the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill".
§ Mr. Pannell
In supporting the Clause, am I permitted to urge the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make concessions concerning estates in the higher ranges?
§ Mr. Pannell
Then that limits my speech rather more than I had expected, Sir Herbert. If I am not allowed even to express the hope that my right hon. Friend will take account of the next stages next year, I can say nothing further.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.