HC Deb 30 March 1909 vol 3 cc308-9W

asked the Prime Minister whether a Departmental Committee of the Treasury reported in 1905 that it might be worth consideration whether a further inquiry should be made into the conditions under which the privilege of registration under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1893, is conferred; whether he is aware that the industrial co-operative societies registered under the Act admitted doing a business of over £110,000,000 per annum, with over £11,000,000 per annum of profit, all of which is freed from liability to income tax by the above-named Act; and whether, in the interests of all taxpayers, he will appoint a Select Committee to inquire into this question?


My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. Industrial co-operative societies registered under the Act of 1893 are not exempt from income tax, but only, as a matter of administrative convenience and subject to certain conditions, from direct assessment to income tax. The hon. Member will find that the subject was fully considered by the Departmental Committee to which he refers (Cd. 2575, 1905, paragraphs 130–139), who came to the conclusion that no case was made out for an alteration of the law. I do not, as at present advised, propose to recommend the appointment of a Select Committee to inquire further into this question.