Oral Answers to Questions — Taxi-Cabs (Duty).

– in the House of Commons on 30th March 1922.

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Photo of Sir Park Goff Sir Park Goff , Cleveland

45.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware of the great hardship imposed upon owner-drivers of taxi-cabs who have paid £15 Motor Vehicle Duty in January, 1922, and who have had their cabs laid up for six weeks through their inability to obtain new parts from France; and whether, in such cases, he will allow a refund of the tax in proportion to the time the cab is off the road?

Photo of Mr Arthur Neal Mr Arthur Neal , Sheffield, Hillsborough

I have been asked to reply. My attention has not been drawn to the instance referred to in the first part of the question. I am aware that these cabs are necessarily off the streets for a few weeks in each year, and this fact was not lost sight of in fixing the duty. I am advised that the present duty on taxi-cabs does not bear more hardly on owner-drivers than the old taxation and licences. The answer to the last part of the question is, therefore, in the negative.

Photo of Lord Henry Cavendish-Bentinck Lord Henry Cavendish-Bentinck , Nottingham South

May I ask what steps the Home Office or the hon. Gentleman's Department is taking to reduce the exorbitant charges of the London taxi-cabs?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

That does not arise.

Photo of Sir Park Goff Sir Park Goff , Cleveland

46.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware of the difference in the Motor Vehicle Duty on motor-cabs in London and the provinces; and whether he will reduce the tax on London vehicles by £3 per annum, thus bringing London into line with the rest of England, namely, a flat rate of £12 per annum?

Photo of Mr Arthur Neal Mr Arthur Neal , Sheffield, Hillsborough

The rates of duty were fixed by Parliament in the Second Schedule to the Finance Act, 1920. There are valid reasons for a higher rate in London, and I regret, therefore, that I cannot recommend the suggested equalisation of the rates.

Photo of Sir Park Goff Sir Park Goff , Cleveland

47.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will, in view of the stagnation in the taxicab trade, reduce the quarterly payments of the Motor Vehicle Duty to £4 per quarter, this sum being equivalent to something over 5 per cent. interest for the privilege of paying quarterly?

Photo of Mr Arthur Neal Mr Arthur Neal , Sheffield, Hillsborough

I regret that I am unable to recommend such a reduction. The issue of quarterly licences is in itself an important concession, involving a considerable increase in administrative work.