asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the increase in the future assessment of the land to Land Tax, owing to the absence of any provision in the Tithe Act, 1936, for a deduction in respect of the tithe redemption annuity substituted for tithe rentcharge which was itself subject to Land Tax; and what steps he proposes to take to prevent the imposition of this additional burden on agriculture?
The Tithe Act, 1936, effected a comprehensive settlement on the basis of a self-balancing scheme as between the general body of tithe-owners on the one hand and the general body of tithe-payers on the other. In the general finance of the scheme certain deductions were made for the purpose of determining the amount of redemption stock issuable to tithe-owners, among the deductions being the estimated total amount of Land Tax previously payable by tithe-owners in respect of tithe rentcharge. The effect of these deductions was to enable a lower redemption annuity to be fixed for tithe-payers. In these circumstances I do not think it inequitable that tithe-payers, who are paying a smaller annuity because of the deduction made against tithe-owners for Land Tax, should themselves in future bear that Land Tax.
In view of the undertakings given by the Government during the passing of the Tithe Act that the Government were not going to make any money out of owner or payer, does my right hon. Friend think that the Government are honouring that obligation?
Yes, we are not making any money out of either of them.
Is it not a fact that this increased Land Tax assessment means in some cases from one-third to one-half the relief given to the tithe-payer in the 1936 Act?
That may be so or it may not; I am not prepared to say. In any case, against that must be set the lower annuity that is payable in consequence.