Estate Duty (Agricultural Land)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th March 1971.

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Photo of Mr Eric Deakins Mr Eric Deakins , Walthamstow West 12:00 am, 30th March 1971

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider removing the partial exemption from death duty of agricultural land.

Photo of Mr Patrick Jenkin Mr Patrick Jenkin , Wanstead and Woodford

I have noted the hon. Member's suggestion.

Photo of Mr Eric Deakins Mr Eric Deakins , Walthamstow West

Is the hon. Gentleman proposing to take any action to close this major loophole in death duty avoidance? Further, is he aware that it has contributed to the high price of farmland, which has been one of the means of preventing young people who want to become farmers owning their own farms?

Photo of Mr Patrick Jenkin Mr Patrick Jenkin , Wanstead and Woodford

I obviously cannot anticipate my right hon. Friend's Budget Statement but I rather feel that the hon. Member is exaggerating this. Out of a total estate duty yield last year of £365 million some £10·7 million was attributable to the relief of farmland.

Photo of Mr Peter Mills Mr Peter Mills , Torrington

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that high taxation on land means fragmentation of holdings, which is a most serious thing in agriculture? Will he take no notice of hon. Members opposite?

Photo of Mr Patrick Jenkin Mr Patrick Jenkin , Wanstead and Woodford

I will certainly take a great deal of notice of what my hon. Friend says.