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Tax-Free Income

Volume 15: debated on Monday 14 December 1981

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the tax-free income available to (a) a single person, (b) a childless couple and (c) a couple with one, two, three and four children in the current tax year and the two previous tax years at constant prices; and if he will express the figures as a percentage of average earnings. 15—Scotland—by economic category, using the same divisions as in the Financial Statement and Budget Report, but subdividing current expenditure on goods and services into (a) wages and salaries, (b) associated employment costs and (c) non-pay.

The following table gives an analysis of programme 15 (Scotland) by economic category over the period 1976–77 to 1980–81. It is not possible to provide figures by economic category for the years beyond 1980–81. Information for forward years in cash for programme 15 by main service will be published in the next public expenditure White Paper.

The table following shows (i) "tax-free income", (ii) "tax-free income" as a percentage of average earnings plus child benefit and (iii) "tax-free income" expressed at 1979–80 prices."Tax-free income" is defined as the amount of earnings, plus family support, which may be received before liability to tax arises. Currently, it equals tax allowances plus child benefit. In the table, tax allowances have been assumed to consist only of the appropriate personal allowance; and, for married couples only the husband has been assumed to be working.In order to provide illustrative figures for 1981–82, it has been assumed that average earnings will increase by 11¼ per cent. and retail prices by 11¾ per cent. between 1980–81 and 1981–82.Average earnings are for full-time adult males in all occupations (manual and non-manual). Figures for the financial year are based on averages of monthly estimates derived from new earnings survey data for each April and a centred three-month moving average of the monthly index of average earnings of all employees covering the whole economy.The price index used is the general index of retail prices (all items).

Married Couple with:
Single PersonNo childrenOne childTwo childrenThree childrenFour children
1979–80
(i)£1,165£1,815£2,023£2,231£2,439£2,647
(ii)20·131·433·836·038·140·0
(iii)£1,165£1,815£2,023£2,231£2,439£2,647
Married Couple with:
Single PersonNo childrenOne childTwo childrenThree childrenFour children
1980–81
(i)£1,375£2,145£2,367£2,589£2,812£3,034
(ii)19·830·933·035·036·938·7
(iii)£1,180£1,845£2,035£2,225£2,420£2,610
1981–82
(i)£1,375£2,145£2,401£2,658£2,914£3,171
(ii)17·827·730·032·234·336·2
(iii)£1,060£1,650£1,845£2,045£2,240£2,440