HC Deb 05 May 1920 vol 128 cc2088-9W

asked the Minister of Transport whether it is intended, under the new scheme for the taxation of mechanically-propelled motor vehicles, to grant any special privileges, exemptions, or rebates in respect of motor cars used by doctors and veterinary surgeons similar to the privileges enjoyed by them under the present system of taxation: and, if not, upon what grounds it is proposed to withdraw the existing privileges?


There is no intention to give special privileges to these classes of motor car users. This question was carefully considered by the Departmental Committee on the Taxation and Regulation of road vehicles, and the reasons for the withdrawal of existing privileges are set out in paragraph 23 of their Report. The rebates which these users now enjoy were conceded partly in order to bring them into line with commercial motor vehicles, which pay no Inland Revenue duty and are entitled to a rebate of half the duty on motor spirit. With the abolition of preferential treatment to commercial users, the case for medical practitioners and veterinary surgeons necessarily fails. There could be no justification for exempting members of two professions only. Every person using a motor car in connection with his profession or business would be equally entitled to preferential treatment. The concession to medical practitioners and veterinary surgeons was made when motor cars were taxed as luxuries. This is now no longer the case. The proposed tax is in fact a tax upon road users for road purposes.