§ Sir E. STOCKTON
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (1) if he will inform the House what the Treasury paid to the collector of Customs in Manchester and district prior to December, 1921; what has been paid to the collectors of 2083W taxes in Mincheater and district for the year ending December, 1922, for the same work;
(2) whether the collectors of taxes in Manchester and district were forced to to take over the collection of D and E Income Tax under threat of losing their other collection and work if they refused it; and if he will explain why a collector was not allowed to decline it on learning the remuneration?
§ Major BOYD-CARPENTER
As from the 1st December, 1921, a commencement was made of the work of unifying the machinery of Income Tax collection in many large provincial centres where previously collectors appointed by the Board of Inland Revenue had been responsible for the collection of tax under Schedules A and B, and officers of the Customs and Excise Department had collected duty in the same areas under Schedules D and E. The maintenance of duplicate machinery within a single area was not conducive to economy, and it was decided to place the entire work in the hands of one set of officers. The change took place in Manchester and several other centres as from the 1st December, 1921, and, except in the case of Manchester, has been effected without friction. The policy adopted, with the knowledge and concurrence of the staff association representing assessors and collectors, has been to frame general collections covering the collection of Income Tax under all schedules and not to perpetuate the previously existing division of functions. In requesting collectors to take over the additional work this aspect of future policy was necessarily brought to their notice, but within the limits prescribed by a general application of this principle consideration was given to the circumstances and capacities of each individual collector. No collectors, in effect, refused to take the additional work, and no collector was deprived of his position by reason of his inability to manage the larger total collection than that which he had previously. The amount paid to collectors of taxes in Manchester for collection of Income Tax under Schedules A, B, D and E (other than tax payable by weekly wage-earners) for the year ending 30th November, 1922, was £17,676 (exclusive of bonus) as compared with £11,381 which they received for the year ending 30th November, 1921, for the collection of Schedules A and B only.2084W The individual payments, totalling £17,076, were subject to revision in the light of experience. The additional awards resulting from that revision have been made. The collector of Customs and Excise performed the work of collection of tax under Schedules D and E as part of his duties as an officer of the Customs and Excise Department, and no part of his salary was specifically attributable to this work. In respect of services rendered to the Inland Revenue Department (including the collection of Income Tax in a large number of areas in the United Kingdom), the Department of Customs and Excise was credited for the year 1921–22 with the sum of. £88,300.
§ Sir E. STOCKTON
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that collectors of taxes pay the entire expenses of their staff, office rents. etc., and guarantee bond out of their salary; and whether this procedure can he altered?
§ Major BOYD-CARPENTER
Collectors of taxes are paid remuneration on a statutory basis which covers necessary office expenses, including clerical assistance, office rent, etc., in addition to a reward for their personal work. The system of appointment and remuneration of collectors of taxes was examined by the Royal Commission on the Income Tax and when the time is opportune their recommendations will be carefully considered with a view to legislation.