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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.