HC Deb 03 July 1950 vol 477 cc51-2

In subsection (2) of section fifteen of the Finance Act, 1925 (which provides, in certain cases, for a relief from income tax for a person who proves that, at the commencement of the year of assessment, he or his wife living with him had attained the age of sixty-five years), for the words "at the commencement of the year of assessment," there shall be substituted the words "at any time during the year of assessment."—[The Solicitor-General.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

The Solicitor-General

I beg to move "That the Clause be read a Second time."

This new Clause is again to implement an undertaking T gave during the Committee stage, when the Committee was discussing a new Clause moved by the hon. Member for Mitcham (Mr. Carr). This is to carry out the effect of his proposal, which is to give age relief in respect of the year in which either the taxpayer or his wife reached the requisite age limit. As the law stands at present, the age relief is only available in respect of a year at the beginning of which either the taxpayer or his wife reach that age. We are now substituting the provision that if at any time during the year either the taxpayer or his wife reaches the requisite age then age relief is available.

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan (Reigate)

I am sure that everyone on this side of the House would like to thank the Chancellor for the concession he has made in this matter. I am sure my hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham (Mr. Carr) is to be congratulated upon having found the melting point of the Iron Chancellor in this matter so early in his Parliamentary career. There is one anomaly left in this part of the Finance Bill. That is the question of definition by the State of when old age begins, particularly for spinsters and widows. Where old age allowance for Income Tax is concerned, old age begins at the age of 65, or rather at the beginning of the year in which the person reaches the age of 65, whereas for widows and spinsters old age begins at 60 to obtain pensions or post-war credits. There is, therefore, an anomaly between the different forms of payment. While we have no hope for this year, I hope the Chancellor will be able to leave a note in the pigeon hole for his successor next year.

Captain Crookshank

I hope to make clear that what my hon. Friend is talking about is statutory old age. I do not want it to go out from this House that we think all women of 60 are necessarily antiques.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.