Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th November 1959.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will exempt owner-occupiers, living on small fixed incomes, from Schedule A tax.
I cannot anticipate my right hon. Friend's Budget statement.
Is the Minister aware that pensioners and others living on small fixed incomes are having to subsidise other sections of the community far better off than themselves?
I hope my hon. Friend will recall that Conservative Governments in recent years have done a considerable amount for pensioners and others living on fixed incomes, but on this point I cannot add to what I have said.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many dwellings, such as caravans and house-boats, are subject to Schedule A tax.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make full allowance for a labour charge for owner-occupiers who have to carry out their own property repairs because they are unable to afford to employ a building contractor.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of Schedule A was paid last year in respect of owner-occupied houses and flats.
The total Income Tax excluding Surtax attributable to owner-occupation of houses and flats last year is estimated at about £40 million.
Will my hon. Friend take into account the fact that it would give great encouragement to home ownership if the anomalies of Schedule A tax were abolished?
I am not sure that could quite hear my hon. Friend's supplementary question in view of the interruption, but the point is that owner-occupied houses are not separated from other types of property in the Schedule A statistics and, therefore, there are difficulties about the figure which my hon. Friend wants. However, if there are any further aspects of the matter and he would like to write to me about them, I will, of course, give him all the information which is available.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the saving in administrative expenses if the Schedule A tax was abandoned.
I regret that the cost of assessing and collecting this tax cannot be segregated from the general cost of administering the Revenue.
Can my hon. Friend inform me what would be the total loss to the Exchequer if Schedule A were abolished on owner-occupiers?
As I have explained, there are difficulties about separating the statistics in the case of owner-occupiers. I gave my hon. Friend the total figure just now, and I am afraid that that is the best I can do this afternoon.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give an estimate of the number of claims made annually for additional allowances for maintenance against Schedule A tax.
Would my hon. Friend agree that, in view of the work involved and the smallness of some of the claims, it would be far better to abolish Schedule A altogether on owner-occupiers?
I have already explained that I cannot anticipate my right hon. Friend's Budget statement on this subject. I would refer my hon. Friend to the Answers which I have given in reply to earlier Questions.
Why should any Government tax a man who has the initiative to try to buy his own house and thus is not involved in any form of subsidy?
All these questions were debated on the last Finance Bill, and I have no doubt that, whatever happens, they will be raised on future Finance Bills, but I cannot add this afternoon to what I have already said.