Mrs. Thatcher Answers Questions
As she goes about the Division, our Prospective Candidate is asked numerous questions. Some of them seem so important that we have asked her to pass them on to us, with her answers. It would be impossible, even in a 16-page “Signpost” , to publish more than a fraction of them, so we have decided to run a regular feature, giving one in each issue. Here is No. 1.
“I have retired from work on a small pension. I saved for years to buy my own house and I am now penalised by having to pay Schedule ‘A’ Tax. What are your views?” Mrs. Thatcher replies:—
Schedule ‘A’ Tax on owner-occupied properties brings in £35 million a year. I myself was rather disappointed that Derick Heathcoat Amorythe Chancellor of the Exchequer did not abolish this particular tax in the last budget, in preference to some of the other reliefs he gave.
The usual means of reducing the impact of Schedule ‘A’ Tax, by allowing a claim for maintenance, is not much assistance to retired folk, who can ill afford to have work done on maintaining the property. They frequently, however, do a good deal of decorating work themselves.
At present they can only claim the cost of the materials against Schedule ‘A’ Tax, and it is in this respect that I think there is room for minor reform until the future of the tax is decided. As it is a tax upon notional income (income you would get from letting the house if you didn't live in it yourself), it seems logical to allow, against that amount, a sum for national expenditure. If, for example, you have decorated part of the house during the course of the year, you ought to be allowed to claim, for maintenance, the sum you would have had to pay a builder if you hadn't done the work yourself.