HC Deb 09 March 1971 vol 813 c225
10. Mr. Meacher

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will seek to amend the Variation of Trusts Act, 1958 to prevent its manipulation for estate duty avoidance purposes that contravene the public interest.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

No, Sir.

Mr. Meacher

Will the hon. Gentleman confirm an expert opinion that fully 95 per cent. of private discretionary trusts are at present taken out purely for tax avoidance purposes? Will he estimate the amount of revenue annually lost to the Exchequer through these devices, or if that information is not at present available, will he commit his Department to find out as soon as possible? Finally, will he implement the recommendations of the last Royal Commission on the Taxation of Profits and Income that private discretionary trusts should be deprived of their unjustified tax privileges so as to stop this massive cheating of the State by the rich?

Mr. Jenkin

The answer to all three parts of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question is, "No, Sir".