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Child Tax Allowances (Students' Parents)

Volume 929: debated on Tuesday 29 March 1977

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether any transitional arrangements are to be made for parents of students whose child tax allowances are being reduced and who cannot benefit from adjustments to parental contribution scales.

Yes. The Government do not consider that it would be right to retain child tax allowances on a permanent basis for any parents of students when child tax allowances are being phased out, and believe that it is right that the system of student support and family support for children should be clearly separated. But we have decided that special transitional measures are justified for certain parents, whose student children were already following a course in the autumn of 1976 when we announced our proposals for phasing out child tax allowances.The parents concerned are those who cannot benefit from the proposed reduction in parental contribution scales for grant purposes—details of which were announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science on 28th March—either because their income is below the threshold for parental contribution, or because no grant is received. We are proposing that these parents should, subject to certain conditions, be able to claim child tax allowances at the 1976–77 level instead of the reduced level proposed for 1977–78 —and for subsequent years. This relief will run for up to three years, viz., 1977–78 to 1979–80 inclusive.The conditions for a claim are that the student concerned (

a) was following a full-time course of education at 31st December 1976; ( b) if the course was not an advanced course, was 19 or over at 31st December 1976; and ( c) for the academic year which starts in the relevant year of assessment either is in receipt of no grant from any Government Department, local authority or other public funds, or is receiving a grant which is liable to be reduced to take account of parental contribution but which has not in fact been so reduced because the parent's income is below the threshold for such a contribution.

Education authorities awarding grants will provide parents of children receiving grants with relevant claim forms (form 11CTA (LA)). Claim forms (form 11CTA(S)) for other qualifying students will be obtainable from tax offices or local PAYE enquiry officers after 1st June 1977.