New Clause. — (Repeal of s. 36 of 8 and 9 Geo. V, c. 15.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Finance Bill. – in the House of Commons on 8th July 1924.

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I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman, and I think if he will look at this matter from our point of view he will agree with our argument Let me say here and now we do not desire for a moment to weaken the safeguards of the Clause against Super-tax evasion. We will assist the hon. Gentleman in every possible way to get his proper and fair Super-tax, but I want to point out again that if a company has earned £20,000, and it can be deemed reasonable that it should distribute only £12,000 and reserve £8,000 for future requirements, we desire to have it made clear that the Commissioners have the power, if they think£12,000 is the right amount to distribute, and that they should assess the distributable income at £12,000, and not at £20,000, as they do now. They must be free to make allowance for the maintenance and development of the business. If the hon. Gentleman will meet us on these lines we will withdraw the Clause, as we have no wish to do anything to defeat the original intentions of the Clause as to Super-tax. I am certain that the way in which the Treasury or Revenue has interpreted the Clause is very penalising and unfair. If the hon. Gentleman is willing to come to some arrangement with us as to an amending Clause, I will withdraw my Clause on the understanding that he will not allow the Clause in the Act in future to be interpreted without discretion allowed to the Commissioners, as it is at the present moment.