§ Major HILLS
asked the Attorney-General whether he is aware that the statutory levy, in pursuance of the Lunacy Act, 1890, and the current rules in lunacy, is excessive in the case of small incomes; whether it is possible to introduce a graduated scale in respect of incomes under 300; and whether the 881W legal charges allowed by the court to solicitors when employed by receivers can be reduced in the case of these small estates, as the charge now is heavy in relation to the income received?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I cannot accept the suggestion that the statutory levy is excessive. The average yearly amount produced by it is considerably less than the present expense of maintaining the Department. On incomes up to £100 the levy is on a flat rate of 10s. per annum, and above £100 3 per cent. except in inquisition cases, which are few in number, when the rate is 4 per cent. A graduated scale devised to relieve incomes of various amounts up to £300 would necessarily involve a corresponding increase in the amount levied on incomes above £300. Solicitors' costs are strictly taxed, or in small and
Year. Gross Surplus. Appropriation of Gross Surplus. Interest and Dividends Depreciation, etc., Funds. Debt Redemption and other purposes including balances. £ £ £ 1927–28 … … … 24,790,819 10,563,575 14,227,244 1928–29 … … … 25,855,868 11,652,271 14,203,597 1929–30 … … … 27,696,990 12,852,280 14,844,710 1930–31 … … … 28,643,384 13,546,213 15,097,171 1931–32* … … … 31,879,627 14,422,091 17,457,536 1932–33* … … … 33,534,110 14,807,148 18,726,962 * The figures of gross surplus in these years was arrived at before deduction of Income Tax charge; previously to 1931–32 it was arrived at after deduction of Income Tax.