Income Tax

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th January 1951.

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Photo of Sir John Mellor Sir John Mellor , Sutton Coldfield 12:00 am, 30th January 1951

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will extend to employees generally the same freedom from assessment to Income Tax upon benefits in kind or cash allowances in lieu as he extends to coalminers, who are not assessed upon free coal or cash substituted for free coal.

Photo of Mr Hugh Gaitskell Mr Hugh Gaitskell , Leeds South

In general, the value of benefits in kind received by an employee (other than a director or senior executive) is not assessable to tax unless the benefits are convertible into money. In this respect accordingly, the miner is treated the same as other employees. The exemption from tax of cash allow- ances paid to miners in lieu of free coal is a concession introduced during the war as part of a scheme to save coal by encouraging miners to accept such allowances instead. This concession has not yet been withdrawn, but I am afraid I could not agree that it should be regarded as a precedent for concessions in other fields.

Photo of Sir John Mellor Sir John Mellor , Sutton Coldfield

What is the difference in principle between one cash allowance and another? Why not treat all alike?

Photo of Mr Hugh Gaitskell Mr Hugh Gaitskell , Leeds South

I have already explained that, except in this one instance, they are all treated alike.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon East

What is the reason for the discrimination between directors and high executives and other people?

Photo of Mr Hugh Gaitskell Mr Hugh Gaitskell , Leeds South

It is obvious that in the case of personal incomes of, for instance, more than £2,000, which is the dividing line, there is no question of any hardship arising.

Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West

Is the Chancellor aware that anyone who envies the miner his concession can get it himself if he takes the necessary steps?

Photo of Mr Norman Bower Mr Norman Bower , Harrow West

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that personal remuneration made to nonprofessional stockholders' representatives for their services in connection with the transfer of the electricity companies to the British Electricity Authority has been held to be subject to tax; and if, in view of the fact that they were casual payments of a non-recurring nature, he will reconsider this decision.

Photo of Mr Hugh Gaitskell Mr Hugh Gaitskell , Leeds South

The liability to Income Tax of these payments is a question of law which falls to be determined in accordance with the provisions of the Income Tax Acts. If the taxpayers concerned are not satisfied as to their liability, it is, of course, open to them to appeal against their assessments to the appropriate body of Commissioners.