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Tax Allowances (School Fees)

Volume 524: debated on Tuesday 9 March 1954

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36 and 37. Mr.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if, when framing his Budget, he will consider the possibility of giving taxation relief to parents who pay fees for the education of their children;

(2) what are the technical difficulties which prevent any Income Tax allowances being granted to parents who relieve the State of burdens by paying for the education of their own children.

As my hon. Friend is aware, I have promised to consider his suggestion, in common with other taxation suggestions, when I am framing my Budget proposals, but I cannot discuss the problems involved in a reply to a Question.

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask him to bear in mind that the State system of education will probably break down if large numbers of parents do not continue to send their children to private schools, and will he bear in mind that the expense is very great and that if there is no tax concession the cost may become prohibitive?

I am aware of the considerations which the hon. Member has brought to my attention.

Is the Minister aware that if he introduces this principle of inequality of treatment between parents who send their children to State schools and those who, for personal reasons, elect to send them to private schools, he will be causing great offence to a large section of the public?