§ 7. Mr. Cronin
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, having regard to the recent Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the Appropriation Accounts, indicating that the total amount of farming losses allowed against taxation in one year was about £13½ million, he will take steps to implement the recommendation of the Royal Commission on the Taxation of Profits and Income that the term "husbandry" in Section 526 of the Income Tax Act, 1952, should be limited to that carried on on a commercial basis, with a view to the realisation of profits.
§ Mr. Cronin
While it is appreciated that the Chancellor cannot anticipate his Budget statement, in the course of his secret lucubrations in the next few months will he examine this serious and extensive abuse of tax law and its very deleterious effect on agriculture?
§ 31. Mr. Shinwell
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many farmers not solely engaged in agriculture claim relief of taxation on account of losses sustained arising from farming.
§ Mr. Shinwell
I am not surprised at that. Surely the right hon. Gentleman will agree that there are quite a number of people who engage in this practice and purchase farms, though they are not interested in agriculture, only for the purpose of gaining because of losses? Is it not time we stopped this racket, this jiggery-pokery, on the part of a number of people, of which he is well aware?
I am sure the right hon. Gentleman would not wish to use the expression "jiggery-pokery" in connection with all farmers who have some other commercial activity as well as their farms.
§ Mr. Shinwell
Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is a bit of a racket for a person to purchase a farm, although not interested in agriculture, solely for the purpose of gaining because of the losses that are sustained? Is not this a most undesirable practice?
I should want full details of the cases which the right hon. Gentleman has in mind before I should care to express an opinion.