HC Deb 16 July 1935 vol 304 cc880-1W

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 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?


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.