HC Deb 07 December 1965 vol 722 c234
47. Mr. Stratton Mills

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the substantial increase in the market value of houses, he will seek to exempt the homes of owner-occupiers for Estate Duty purposes; and if he will estimate the annual cost of this relief.

Mr. MacDermot

No, Sir. The cost might be £25 million.

Mr. Stratton Mills

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware of the considerable increase in the value of owner-occupied houses during the past 10 years and of the hardship which can be caused, for instance, to widows who have to stay on in their houses after the death of their spouses? Will he consider a partial extension on, say, the first £5,000 of the value of owner-occupied houses?

Mr. MacDermot

There is already an Estate Duty exemption in respect of estates not amounting to more than £5,000, and I understand that, historically, the reason for allowing it was the one to which the hon. Gentleman referred.