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Revised Report on Fire Insurance Duties (Classic Reprint)

Revised Report on Fire Insurance Duties (Classic Reprint)

33474090
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Excerpt from Revised Report on Fire Insurance Duties

Sir,

In the year 1856 I had the honour of receiving instruction from Sir George Cornwall Lewis, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, to prepare a Report on the operation of the taxes laid upon insurances against loss by fire, and on the probable effects of some suggested modifications of one of those taxes, and of presenting to him that Report on the 29th November in the same year.

In transcribing my notes made in the preparation of that Report an error of a figure occurred, which led to an extensive mis-statement of the effect of the Taxation during a considerable and interesting period of time, and seriously affected the most important argument in the Report. The Act of the 37 Geo. 3. c. 90., by which the Per-centage Duty on Fire Insurance was raised from 1s. 6d. per cent. to 2s per cent, was miscopied as the 27 Geo. 3. c. 90., thus throwing the rise of duty into the year 1787 instead of 1797. The calculation of the Value of the Property Insured during the 10 years 1787-1797 was in consequence falsified throughout. The value of the property insured during that period was estimated at one-fourth less than its true amount, and the false inference was drawn, and apparently justified, that the raising of the duty from 1s. 6d. to 2s. per 100l. insured had operated on this one occasion at least to discourage insurance. It is important that his error, from which other erroneous inference have been drawn, should be corrected. Receiving your permission to do this, I have taken the same opportunity to revise the whole of the Report, to bring down to the present time the information which has been most liberally supplied to me by the Board of Inland Revenue and their zealous officers in the Registry of Fire Insurance, and to carry out all my own calculation to the same period.

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