HC Deb 01 March 1921 vol 138 cc1645-6W

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that, whereas private motor-cars built prior to 1913 are allowed a rebate of 25 per cent, of the tax, commercial lorries similarly built before 1913 are not granted this reduction; that many of these lorries are used for agricultural purposes, such as bringing produce to large cities or milk to railway stations; why such discrimination is made; and if, in the interests of agriculture, he will have the same or even more generous reduction made to commercial lorries as is how granted to the private cars?


I am, aware that there is a refund of 25 per cent, of the tax payable in respect of private motor-cars, in the case of those whose engines were built prior to 1913. This concession was granted because the tax in respect of private motor-cars is based on horsepower, arrived at according to the Treasury (R.A.C.) rating, and the application of this formula to old engines, owing to alterations in design and construction, gives a higher nominal horsepower to such engines than to engines of more modern type, though the latter may in fact develop a higher effective horsepower. Commercial vehicles are, however, not taxed upon horse-power, but upon their unladen weight, and the grounds for the rebate do not therefore arise. My right hon. Friend, the Minister of Transport, is unable to recommend any further preferential treatment of vehicles used for agricultural purposes beyond those already contained in the Second Schedule to the Finance Act, 1920.