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Houses (Estate Duty Valuation)

Volume 531: debated on Thursday 29 July 1954

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66.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what date, in the valuation of houses for the payment of Estate Duty on small estates, the term "vacant possession," and the concession made in 1944 in relation to the valuation of houses became the identical basis of calculation; and whether the directive to district valuers will be placed in the Library of the House.

The statutory and concessional values for Estate Duty purposes of owner-occupied houses within the scope of the concession have now tended to coincide in some cases but not in all, and not as from any common date. No directive has been issued to district valuers in this connection; the assessment of the concessional figure is essentially a question of valuation and depends on the circumstances of each individual case.

Is my hon. Friend aware that his answer is most unsatisfactory and that I am sending his right hon. Friend particulars of cases? Is he also aware that 1953 is the date by which the change of policy came into operation, and that, when the House reassembles, I hope he will be able to give me a better answer?

So far as that question conflicts with my statement, I cannot accept the point of view of my hon. Friend.