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Volume 984: debated on Monday 12 May 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if, pursuant to the reply of the Minister with special responsibility for the disabled Official Report, 14 April, column 605, he will provide a breakdown of the figure of 400,000 invalidity pensioners whose income in any year is less than their personal tax allowances by age, marital status and number of children, respectively; (2) if, pursuant to the reply to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe, Official Report, 15 April, column 605, he will estimate the amount and the proportion of the money to be saved by abating invalidity pensioners whose incomes does not exceed their personal tax allowances in 1980–81 and 1981–82.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many invalidity benefit claimants would (a) be liable and (b) not be liable for tax in the current financial year if the benefit were taxable.

[pursuant to his replies, 24 April 1980, c, 2713]: The proposals for bringing invalidity benefit into tax, along with other benefits, have not yet been formulated in detail. It is, therefore, not possible to estimate with confidence how many invalidity benefit recipients would be taxpayers if the benefit were to be brought into tax this year.On the assumption of a total of some 850,000 beneficiaries at any time in 1980–81, a very rough estimate of 400,000 was given in the previous reply referred to—[Vol. 980, c.

605]—as the possible order of magnitude of numbers of invalidity benefit recipients whose annual income would not exceed their personal tax allowances if the benefit were brought into tax this year. It assumes that recipients have little income other than the benefit.

This estimate is intended as only a very broad guide to the possible numbers involved; it is subject to a very wide margin of error and is not capable of any further analysis.

Since personal tax allowances are increased at a different time in the year from the uprating of benefits, and since tax liability will depend on the actual allowances operating at the time, the corresponding figures for 1981–82 cannot be estimated.