Egg Sales (Income Tax)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th July 1952.

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Photo of Mr Norman Dodds Mr Norman Dodds , Dartford 12:00 am, 17th July 1952

asked the Secretary to the Treasury what special steps the Inland Revenue Department is taking to ensure that money received by farmers and poultry keepers as a result of the sale of eggs at black-market prices, is in fact made subject to Income Tax, having regard to the fact that only 45 per cent. of the eggs now produced in this country are passing through packing stations approved by the Ministry of Food.

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

Instructions have been issued to Her Majesty's Inspectors of Taxes that special inquiry is to be made where appropriate with a view to the inclusion in the computation for Income Tax purposes of miscellaneous credits, including receipts from sales of eggs.

Photo of Mr Norman Dodds Mr Norman Dodds , Dartford

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that that will not satisfy the housewife who is getting one egg per ration book when it is known that car owners are getting large numbers and that two can be obtained at one meal in cafes and restaurants? Why has the Inland Revenue not been more active with the farmers and large poultry keepers?

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

I think the hon. Member confuses the functions of the Inland Revenue Department. Their duty is not to supervise the distribution of eggs but to collect the tax.

Photo of Sir Gerald Nabarro Sir Gerald Nabarro , Kidderminster

Is my hon. Friend aware that out of the 55 per cent. of the eggs which do not go through the packing stations millions upon millions are produced by people who keep fewer than 25 hens and that it is perfectly legal for them to dispose of those eggs?

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

That is, I understand, both true and a matter for my right hon. and gallant Friend the Minister of Food.

Photo of Mr Norman Dodds Mr Norman Dodds , Dartford

Does not the hon. Gentleman understand the elementary point that if the Inland Revenue were getting more money from these farmers more eggs would be going to the packing stations and helping his right hon. and gallant Friend?

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

The hon. Member should not under-rate the pertinacity and the skill with which the Inland Revenue perform their duties.

Photo of Miss Elaine Burton Miss Elaine Burton , Coventry South

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that yesterday in this House the Minister of Food gave details of 186 major cases of black market dealing in eggs, some of them amounting to 17,000 eggs? Will he please have the matter dealt with at once because it will mean a big increase in taxation receipts?

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

The question of the distribution or the allocation of eggs is, as the hon. Lady knows perfectly well, a matter for my right hon. and gallant Friend and not for me. I am concerned solely with the collection of the income.