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Volume 940: debated on Monday 28 November 1977

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will allow the first £2,000 p.a. of all retirement pensions free of tax, in the light of the fact that many retired persons, who for 40 years or more have contributed to the various national insurance funds, taxation, private and public retirement funds and have never received any money from social security, now find that their pensions are heavily taxed.

I do not consider that a general exemption such as this would be the most effective way of helping pensioners. An elderly couple whose total income does not exceed £3,500 are already exempt from tax on the first £1,975 of their income.