asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can give an estimate of the total sum invested in building societies by depositors of £3,000 and upwards; and whether, in view of his forthcoming Budget, he will further investigate this question with a view to making certain that large depositors are not escaping taxation?
§ Sir K. Wood
I am afraid that the figure for which my hon. and gallant Friend asks is not available, but the total sum invested by shareholders and depositors is approximately £687,000,000. The longstanding arrangements under which building societies pay tax at a composite rate take into account the liabilities of all classes of shareholders and depositors, and when the arrangements are reviewed from time to time the position is examined in order to see that they produce the full tax to which the Revenue is entitled. The composite rate does not apply to deposits exceeding £5,000, the interest on which is charged at the full standard rate.