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Estate Duty

Volume 722: debated on Tuesday 14 December 1965

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he intends to alter the exemption from Estate Duty where one party to a marriage leaves a life estate to the surviving spouse and Estate Duty has been paid on the first death.

My right hon. Friend cannot disclose his intentions in advance of the Budget statement.

Is the Chief Secretary aware that in a letter to me the Financial Secretary described this as an anomaly? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that if this exemption were withdrawn it would cause great resentment and quite a lot of hardship?

On a point of order. The close season for Chancellors not answering Questions on the grounds of not disclosing what their Budget proposals are going to be seems to be getting longer and longer. Mr. Speaker, can you say whether there is any limit whatever, either statutory or otherwise?

That is not exactly a point of order, and I hope that hon. Members will hesitate before raising similar points during Question hour when, in any event, they might he better raised at the end of Question Time.