§ 1. Mr. Iremonger
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the present relationship between the assessment of owner-occupied houses for rating purposes and for Schedule A tax; and what proposals he has for giving Income Tax relief immediately and in the future to owner-occupiers.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Derick Heathcoat Amory)
At present residential property is valued for rating at 1939 values. Income Tax values have been carried forward from year to year since 1936–37. On the last part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply last Tuesday to my hon. and gallant Friends the Members for Poole (Captain Pilkington) and Portsmouth, West (Brigadier Clarke).
§ Mr. Iremonger
Is my right hon. Friend aware of the view that it ill becomes those who advocate a property-owning democracy to tax property-owning democrats and that, although this tax is hard enough to bear at the moment, it will become penal when properties are assessed at current valuation? Will my right hon. Friend keep this matter in the forefront of his mind?
Yes, I will keep it in the forefront of my mind, but my hon. Friend, in his turn, will remember that this tax had been part of our basic tax structure for a hundred years, so it does require careful consideration.
§ 21. Mr. Albu
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will re-examine the need for maintaining Schedule A assessment on dwelling houses up to a certain annual value; and, in such re-examination, if he will bear in mind the evidence in favour of its abolition set out in the Report of the Commission on Taxation in the Republic of Ireland, a copy of which has been sent to him by the hon. Member for Edmonton.
§ Mr. Albu
Does not the Chancellor agree that there is a comparison between the relief on Schedule A assessments up to a certain value and the relief which is already given to the interest on bank savings deposits and National Savings Certificates and the exemption in the case of life insurance premiums and so forth?
I think there is some substance in what the hon. Gentleman says. He will remember, of course, the considered advice of the Royal Commission on this subject, which, of course, we cannot completely disregard.