New Clause. — (Expenses of Employees, etc., in Travelling to and from Work.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th June 1952.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet 12:00 am, 17th June 1952

No system of taxation can take care of every separate circumstance. Any tax system has to strike a balance between logic and simplicity of operation and the fitting of every separate circumstance. Another feature is that the new Clause applies only in circumstances where an employer refunds to the employee the cost of travel.

There might be two people living side by side and working in different firms side by side. In one firm the employer might refund travelling expenses to the employee, and in the other firm the employer might not. In those circumstances, this Clause would work unfairly. One would get the benefit of the tax reduction and the other would not.

I am sure that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will study carefully the arguments advanced in support of this proposal. It is not a new proposal. It has been put before the House many times. As my hon. Friend said, there are certain special circumstances nowadays on the strength of which it can be argued that the claim is stronger than it used to be. Nevertheless, my right hon. Friend does not consider that the arguments are strong enough to admit a breach in what is a clear principle of tax law which has been established for some time. In the circumstances, I ask my hon. Friend to withdraw the new Clause.