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Settlement Estate Duty

Volume 65: debated on Tuesday 28 July 1914

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asked whether, in cases where Settlement Estate Duty has been claimed on the occasion of deaths which have already occurred but has not yet been paid, it will now be exacted?

The answer is in the affirmative in the case of deaths occurring before the 12th May last.

Does the right hon. Gentleman mean to say that this will be retrospective against the subject and not against himself?

It simply means that you cannot discriminate against people who pay their duty promptly. Those who have delayed paying Death Duties cannot be put in a better position than those who have not.

Is it the case that they will be called upon to pay the premium for insurance after the Insurance policy is voided?

They will be called upon to pay exactly what everyone else has paid before May, and it would be very unfair that these people should have a special advantage because they delayed payment of duty.

Is it not the fact that they will be called upon to pay after the bargain has already been repudiated?

I repeat that they will be called upon to pay what everyone else has paid under the same conditions as before.

Does the right hon. Gentleman really mean to insist on exacting the insurance premium when the policy itself has been voided, and that these people will be made to pay the duty when the consideration for which they are to pay it is not to be received?

Unless that were done we should also have to refund the money which has been paid by others, and where is that going to end?

Does the right hon. Gentleman recognise that that is the consequence of his own legislation, and not the fault of these people?

That is a matter which was argued in the House. If a thing is to be done you have to fix some date and you cannot discriminate as between people under the same circumstances, having to pay the same sum of money under the same law.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is only the rich people who are now complaining about the Budget?