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Volume 405: debated on Thursday 15 May 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Truro and St. Austell (Matthew Taylor) of 18 March 2003, Official Report, columns 674–76W, what the take-up assumption for the discounts and offsetting benefits to council tax were; and if he will publish an equivalent table for council tax as a percentage of income by decile for the over 60s. [113059]

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl to Mr Jim Cousins, dated 15 May 2003:

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent question concerning the proportion of income that over 60s pay in council tax within each income decile. I am replying in his absence. (113059)
Estimates given in the answer of 18 March 2003, Official Report, columns 674–76W, to Mr Matthew Taylor MP, are based on the analysis "The effects of taxes and benefits on household income 2000–01" which was produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and published on the ONS website on April 19th 2002 and in Economic Trends in the May 2002 edition. Since this reply was given, results for 2001–02 have been published on the ONS website on April 11 th 2003 and in Economic Trends in May 2003. The analyses include measures of income inequality for the United Kingdom as a whole and can be obtained from the House of Commons Library.
The analysis for 2000–01 is based on data from the Family Expenditure Survey (FES) and for 2001–02 the Expenditure and Food Survey (EPS) which was introduced from 2001–02 to replace the FES and the National Food Survey. Sample sizes for the over 60s are only sufficient to allow a break down to be given by quintiles of income distribution and not by decile.
Households for the over 60s have been defined as those where the Household Reference Person is aged 60 or over. The Household Reference Person is identified during the interview and is defined as the member of the household who:
  • a. owns the household accommodation, or
  • b. is legally responsible for the rent of the accommodation, or
  • c. has the household accommodation as an emolument or perquisite, or
  • d. has the household accommodation by virtue of some relationship to the owner who is not a member of the household.
  • If there are joint householders, the Household Reference Person will be the householder with the highest income. If the income is the same, then the eldest householder is taken

    Council tax as a percentage of gross income for the over 60s1—Great Britain

    Quintile groups of all households ranked by equivalised disposable income

    All households

    Quintile points2 (£ per year)2000–018,72610,96914,10019,844
    Gross council tax (% of gross income)2001–
    Net council tax3 (% of gross income)2000–

    1 Household reference person aged 60 or over

    2 Equivalised disposable income at the boundary between two quintile groups

    3 Net council taxes after deducting discounts


    Office for National Statistics, based on the analysis 'The effects of taxes and benefits on household income', published on the ONS website and in Economic Trends No. 582 May 2002 and No. 594 May 2003.