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Personal Incomes

Volume 131: debated on Thursday 14 April 1988

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer by how much in real terms he expects take-home pay for a married man, with two children, on average earnings to have risen between 1978–79 and 1988–89.

I expect his real take-home pay to have risen by 27½ per cent. between 1978–79 and 1988–89. This compares with about one half of 1 per cent. between 1973–74 and 1978–79.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the very welcome answer that he has given the House this afternoon shows that it is this Government who have a real commitment to helping ordinary families on ordinary incomes and to tackling family poverty? Further, will he tell the House how many people have been taken out of taxation altogether as a result of last month's Budget?

On the last point, 780,000 people who would otherwise have paid it have been taken out of tax as a result of the Budget. My hon. Friend is entirely right in that real take-home pay will be substantially up at all multiples of average earnings, whereas with the 1973 to 1979 position quite the reverse occurred.