§ 62. Mr. Jessel
To ask the Minister for the Arts if he will make a statement on the outcome to date of the acceptance-in-lieu-of-tax scheme since its inception in July 1985.
§ Mr. Luce
In July 1985 the Government announced new arrangements which permit an annual call on the Reserve of around £10 million a year, taking one year with the next. This has greatly facilitated such offers. The table sets out the financial position and highlights those items whose acceptance was made possible by these arrangements. Additionally, the scheme has benefited from two further changes introduced in 1987. It is now possible to have interest charges on an offer waived while negotiations are proceeding towards acceptance of an item at the original agreed valuation, and it is also possible to offer an item whose "special price" is greater than the tax liability on the estate, if the institution for which the item is intended is prepared to make up the difference. Both the Picasso and the Gainsborough paintings were accepted in this way. There is no shortage of items in the pipeline—an indication that the scheme is proving an attractive one, and one which plays a vital role in preserving important items and land for future public benefit.
Year Amount of tax satisfied 1Call on the Reserve Item £ £ 1985–86 2,366,707 520,000 The Portland Archive 1986–87 2,947,842 440,000 Matthew Boulton Clock 725,000 Bellini "Madonna and Child" 1987–88 8,627,464 1,200,000 Picasso's "Weeping Woman" 5,500,000 Constable's "Stratford Mill" 638,444 Gainsborough's "Captain Wade" 1 Although the total agreed call on the Reserve since July 1985 was £9,023,444, because of underspends in each financial year on the annual Vote of £2 million the amount actually spent from the Reserve was £7,942,013.