Crematoria (Rates Valuation)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th December 1953.

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Photo of Mr Kenneth Thompson Mr Kenneth Thompson , Liverpool, Walton 12:00 am, 8th December 1953

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why it is proposed to increase the valuation for rates of certain crematoria in England and Wales; if he will postpone the coming into force of such increases until after the proposed general revaluation of hereditaments has taken place; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

Increases have been proposed in the case of certain crematoria which in the past have been allowed a specially favourable basis of assessment applicable to burial grounds, because the Inland Revenue are advised that that basis is not available for crematoria. I understand that the legal question involved is likely to be tested in the Courts. If the Inland Revenue view of the law is found to be correct, I see no reason to postpone its application.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Thompson Mr Kenneth Thompson , Liverpool, Walton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this is a matter of very great concern in many localities, and will he ensure that no positive action is taken until the matter has been tested in the courts?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I said "If the Inland Revenue view…is found to be correct." We must await the case.

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby South

Does the right hon. Gentleman consider, on the grounds of general policy, that it is desirable to encourage crematoria?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

That is a matter of opinion, but I should not like to dissent from the view of the right hon. Gentleman.