I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
This Clause brings before the Committee and the Chancellor of the Exchequer what I think is a very old grievance in relation to Income Tax administration. The Clause simply seeks to re-arrange the present methods of collecting Income Tax so as to give the Super-tax payer some credit for the Income Tax which he has previously paid, and which, in point of fact, never came into his possession at all. One would imagine that, in strict equity, if a man has paid, or is liable to pay, Income Tax he should be allowed that measure of abatement in the calculation of his Super-tax.
The Chancellor may say that Super-tax is graded according to income, and that in the fixing of the gradation of Supertax, account was taken of the fact that no concession had been made on Income Tax previously paid or due to be paid, but even the gradation of Super-tax is not a justification for making the Income Taxpayer pay upon income which never goes into his pocket at all. We have had this question before the House several times. It affects a very considerable number of people who are largely concerned with industrial enterprises, and is a burden imposed upon those whose incomes are mainly contributing to the enlargement of the available working capital for industry. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman, notwithstanding the differences which are so apparent between us from time to time, to consider this Clause from the point of view of equity and of common sense. He knows better than anyone that one of the canons of taxation is that it must be just to the individual. Here you are actually taxing a man upon income which never goes into his pocket at all and from which he will derive no sort of benefit except contributing to the maintenance of the State. It is only fair to ask that some sort of consideration should be given to the Income Taxpayer from that point of view.