HC Deb 18 April 1939 vol 346 cc195-6W
Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether, in view of the fact that in 1937 and 1938 a sum of£1,330,380 was retained by local authorities in England and Wales in respect of local taxation licence duties, he can say if a similar sum was retained by Scottish local authorities; if not, what equivalent contribution was made to Scotland; what such contribution amounted to; and how it was arrived at?

Captain Wallace

The difference between the position in England and Wales and that in Scotland is mainly a difference of method, and has the following historical origins. Before 1908 the Local Taxation Licence Duties in question were collected by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue and the proceeds were distributed among local authorities. The method of distribution, however, was different in the two countries. In England and Wales each county and county borough subject to certain adjustments received the amount collected within its area; in Scotland a lump sum was paid into the Local Taxation Account and distributed for various purposes among various local authorities.

By an Order in Council made under Section 6 of the Finance Act, 1908, the task of collecting the duties was handed over in England and Wales to the councils of counties and county boroughs. In Scotland, as individual local authorities had no similar direct interest in the amounts collected, the duties continued to be collected as before and are still collected by His Majesty's Customs and Excise.

The general result of the different history of the duties in the two countries is that in Scotland this element of local revenue has been merged in the General Exchequer Contribution to Local Revenues whereas in England and Wales that has not taken place.