§ 22. Mr. Proctor
asked the Minister for the Arts when he will be able to make a statement concerning tax incentives to benefit the arts.
§ The Minister for the Arts (Mr. Richard Luce)
Tax incentives are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This Government have already reduced rates of personal and corporate taxation and reduced the rate of capital transfer tax. The arts have benefited from these and other measures, including a reduction in the covenanting period for gifts to charities. We shall continue to look for improvements.
§ Mr. Proctor
I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his appointment as a Privy Councillor. Has he seen the article on page 3 of The Times today headed:Charity aid tax scheme proposed"?Will he make strong representations to our right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in support of the measures set down there?
§ Mr. Luce
I am most grateful to my hon. Friend for his first remark. As to his second remark, I have, of course, seen the article in The Times. As he will be aware, this is principally a matter for my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but the Government have already done a great deal to encourage giving to charitable bodies. I believe that everything possible should be done to improve that still further.
§ Mr. Rathbone
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind, when he talks to the Chancellor of the Exchequer about those matters, that there is agreement across the Floor here, amongst all parties and throughout the arts world, that the future of our heritage in art and architecture rests upon charitable giving being made tax-deductible along the lines described in the article? Will he encourage the Chancellor to that view?
§ Mr. Luce
I note what my hon. Friend says. Of course I want to see everything possible being done to improve encouragement for arts bodies. Much is being done. I have noted that there was a strong, unanimous report on the subject of tax incentives by a previous Select Committee that deal with these matters. I have taken note of that report.