asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the fact that instalments of War Damage Contribution are being demanded in some districts in London in respect of workmen's dwellings in self-contained flats which have been completely destroyed by enemy action, on the ground that a portion of the block of flats of which such dwellings form a part is not unfit for occupation; and whether he will see that instructions are given to all inspectors of taxes that war damage contribution is not payable in the case of any self-contained hereditament which has been totally destroyed by enemy action?
I would remind my hon. Friend that the law does not allow any reduction of the contribution on the ground that a contributory property has suffered war damage, but permits collection to be suspended if the contributory property is unfit by reason of such damage. The question whether a block of flats constituting a single contributory property is unfit depends on the condition of the building as a whole and the fact that some flats in a block may have been destroyed would not necessarily render the whole block unfit.
How is my right hon. Friend justified in levying the War Damage Contribution in respect of workmen's flats which have been entirely destroyed; and why, in view of the fact that there are some flats that have not been destroyed in another part of the workmen's dwellings, should the occupants of those flats which have been entirely destroyed have to pay War Damage Contribution?
Will my right hon. Friend look into this matter? It is provided that War Damage Contribution shall not be payable in respect of any self-contained premises which are totally destroyed, and there is no question about a portion of them being still available. In this case they are entirely destroyed, yet they are being charged because on some other staircase there are flats which have not been destroyed.