§ MR. HICKS BEACH (Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury)
To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that in December, 1902, under reference H. J. 1901, Fo. 2997–5397, a public-house was valued at Somerset House on the following basis, fourteen years at present net rent of £148 per annum £1,580, estimated value of house at end of fourteen years £300 per annum, twenty-five years purchase on £300 £7,500, value at end of fourteen years 578 of such sum £4,335, making a total of £5,915, less ex gratia allowance of £215, value on which duty paid £5,700; whether the above case was in accordance with the usual practice of assessment of values of licences at Somerset House; and whether, if the Licensing Bill passes in its present form, any allowance will be made in cases where death duties have been assessed on the above lines.
(Answered by Mr. Lloyd-George.) The facts of the case referred to are approximately as stated. The value for Estate Duty of licensed property, as of all other property, is the market value at the date of death, and the calculations referred to by the hon. Member were regarded as suitable in the particular case for the purpose of ascertaining that value. Valuations so arrived at in the past in accordance with the provisions of The Finance Act, 1894, are not subject to subsequent adjustment in the event either of a rise or of a fall in market value occurring at a later date, whether such rise or fall may be due to legislation or to other causes, and there is consequently no ground for making any such allowance as is suggested in the Question in respect of transactions which are now closed. As regards the future, licensed properties passing at death will continue to be valued for Estate Duty on the basis of current market prices, and any depreciation which has taken or may take place in those prices will be fully reflected in the Estate Duty valuations.