§ Major TASKER
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what arrangements have been made by His Majesty's Government for valuing property in Ireland and else where abroad belonging to claimants, under the Old Age Pensions Acts, 1908 to 1924, resident in Great Britain at or after the dates of their claims in cases where such valuation is necessary, under the Acts, for the purposes of ascertaining the claimant's yearly means and assessing the rate, if any, of the pension to which he is entitled; whether such arrangements are working expeditiously and satisfactorily and, in particular, adequately protect the taxpayers of Great Britain and the claimants against the possibility of faulty valuations and the consequent under-assessment or over-assessment of the rate of pension; and, if the existing arrangements require im- 445W provement in any respect, whether he will give his attention to the matter with a view to the best practical arrangements being made as soon as possible?
The responsibility for satisfying the pension authorities that the yearly means, as calculated under the Old Age Pensions Acts, do not exceed the statutory limit, rests with the claimant, but in order to assist claimants in completing their claims information is obtained from the District Valuer of Inland Revenue as to the capital value of any interest they may have in houses, buildings, or land owned, but not personally occupied. Claims for old age pensions are rarely received from per sons possessing property outside Great Britain. When such cases arise steps are taken to obtain the necessary information from the competent authority in the country in which the property is situated. I have no reason to believe that in the rare cases in which it is necessary to make these inquiries the resulting in formation is not satisfactory. I would, however, point out that, owing to geographical considerations, such cases cannot always be determined with the expedition that is possible when the cases arise in Great Britain.