asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to collect statistics on the distribu- tion of income and wealth for each of the standard economic regions of the United Kingdom.
As I said in my reply to the hon. Member on 24 March 1980—[Vol. 981, c. 441–42]—the Inland Revenue does publish information at regional level on the distribution of incomes liable to tax. There is, however, no practicable way in which this source of data can be extended to include non-taxable income, although when sickness and unemployment benefit become subject to income tax, these new items of taxable income will be included.The information available to the Inland Revenue on total personal wealth in the United Kingdom is insufficient to support the preparation of estimates broken down by region of its distribution by ranges of wealth.