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Volume 164: debated on Monday 18 December 1989

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish in the Official Report an estimate of the increase in real disposable incomes as a result of the separate taxation of husbands and wives at current rates of income, taxation and inflation; and what proportion of the total is expected to accrue to those in the upper and lower quarters and tenths.

The decrease in income tax liabilities in 1990–91 due to the introduction of independent taxation is provisionally estimated to be about £950 million. That would lead to an increase in real disposable income of less than half a per cent. Estimates of its distribution are not available in the form requested, but about a third of the benefit would be to individuals with incomes of less than £5,000 a year.Those estimates make no allowance for possible behavioural effects. The effect of independent taxation on the composite rate of tax on bank and building society interest will be taken into account in the rate set for the year 1991–92.