HC Deb 12 December 1912 vol 45 c774W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that most of the undeveloped land round cities and towns in Ireland is let on long leases with restrictive covenants and penal clauses against building, and hence no Undeveloped Land Duty can be claimed against the owners of the fee simple of the land; and will he take steps to remedy this state of affairs so that the owners may be made amenable to such Duty or allow their lessees to build thereon by removing the restrictive covenants and penal clauses?


I am aware that in some cases undeveloped land in Ireland is let on long lease, subject to restrictive covenants of the nature indicated by the hon. Member. Where, however, land is let upon lease for a term of which more than fifty years are unexpired, the lessor is not the owner for the purposes of Part I. of the Finance (1909–10) Act, 1910, and is therefore, in any event, immune from liability to Undeveloped Land Duty. The practice is not, I am informed, at all a common one, and I am not at the present time contemplating legislation to counteract its effects.