Transactions in Land

Oral Answers to Questions — Land and Natural Resources – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1 November 1965.

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Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames 12:00, 1 November 1965

asked the Minister of Land and Natural. Resources what will be the relevant date or dates in his proposed legislation after which transactions in land will be subject to liability to a levy, and which will render the land concerned subject to the possibility of subsequent compulsory purchase by the proposed Land Commission.

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North

The Bill will provide for a day to be fixed by Order, after which liability for levy will arise on transactions in land and the Commission will be able to exercise its powers of compulsory purchase. I expect this to be towards the end of next year.

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

But will the right hon. Gentleman make it clear, as the White Paper certainly does not, whether, when that liability arises—as I understand it, on the day which he intends to appoint—it will bite on transactions, planning permissions or sales which take place before it?

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North

Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will put down a Question on that point. He has asked for the date, and I have given it.

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

asked the Minister of Land and Natural Resources what is his estimate of the annual yield of the levy of certain dealings in land foreshadowed in Command Paper 2771.

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North

I estimate that when the scheme is fully operating, the gross yield will be about £80 million per year, on the basis of a 40 per cent. levy.

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

How much of that £80 million does the right hon. Gentleman estimate will be passed on to the consumers—the purchasers or lessors of houses—as a passing on of the charge?

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North

As the right hon. Gentleman is aware, the major purpose of this levy is to relieve the burden of the high cost of building.

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

But is the Minister aware that, whatever the purpose may be, it is everyone's experience of taxation that it tends to be passed on to the consumer? Will he, therefore, apply his mind to my original Question as to how much of this revenue he thinks he will get will, in fact, be paid ultimately by those who buy, let or rent houses?

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North

We have made it quite clear that we intend to relieve, as set out in the White Paper, by means of concessionary disposals for housing and by lifting the burden on the local authorities.

Photo of Mr John Hay Mr John Hay , Henley

asked the Minister of Land and Natural Resources what right of appeal or arbitration he proposes to set up for local or public authorities, housing associations or individuals against the sale price or ground rent demanded by the Land Commission on sale to such bodies or individuals.

Photo of Mr John Hay Mr John Hay , Henley

That is a rather surprising reply. Does the Parliamentary Secretary realise that the Land Commission in these circumstances will be in a position in which it could literally hold to ransom not only private individuals, but local authorities and other authorities? Is it not necessary that some kind of right of appeal or arbitration such as I have suggested in the Question should be provided? Will the hon. Gentleman look at this again?

Photo of Mr Arthur Skeffington Mr Arthur Skeffington , Hayes and Harlington

My right hon. Friend is always prepared to look at anything again, but the hon. Member, with his great experience in these matters, knows that the price is adjudicated on by the district valuer, and in the light of very considerable experience, not only of transactions in recent years but under the 1947 Act, we find that no difficulty has been experienced and do not expect any difficulty now.