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Housekeeper Allowance

Volume 893: debated on Friday 13 June 1975

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why in the tax return guide, in order to qualify for an allowance for a housekeeper, the housekeeper must be a female person resident.

The housekeeper allowance was originally intended to meet the situation where a resident housekeeper was present in the home to care for children who had no mother to look after them, but was later extended to widows and widowers without children. In cases where there are children the allowance has effectively been replaced by the larger additional personal allowance, which does not depend on the presence of a resident housekeeper. The housekeeper allowance nowadays remains as something of an anomaly, and I do not think any extension of it would be justified.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) why it is necessary for an incapable or disabled person, in order to have an allowance for a housekeeper, to be a widower or widow;(2) if he will introduce a housekeeper allowance for incapable or disabled persons who are not widows or widowers.

The housekeeper allowance was never intended to be an allowance for disabled people as such and I do not consider that tax relief is the right way to meet their particular requirements. In our view the better alternative is to provide help through the social security system by measures such as the improvement we have made in the attendance allowance, the new non-contributory invalidity pension, the invalid care allowance and our proposed new mobility allowance.