HC Deb 26 November 1953 vol 521 cc504-5
20. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that the benefits payable to professional footballers are liable to Income Tax, whilst benefits paid to professional cricketers are not so liable; and what steps he contemplates to remedy this anomaly.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The discrimination is not, as the hon. Member suggests, between cricketers and footballers. It is between, on the one hand, payments to either cricketers or footballers which accrue by reason of the terms of the employment and are taxable, and, on the other hand, payments which accrue by way of gift or personal testimonial and are not taxable.

Mr. Hamilton

Is the Minister aware that if a footballer gets a benefit after five years' service he gets £750 which, after taxation, comes to rather less than £500, and that a professional cricketer, who may get £12,000 or £13,000, receives it free of tax? Does the Minister say that that is not an anomalous situation, however he might defend it? Would he ask his right hon. Friend to have this matter looked into further before next April?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

It depends in every case, regardless of which sport is concerned, on whether the man gets his benefit as part of the terms of his employment, in which case it is as properly taxable as any other part of his income, or whether he gets it as a gift, in which case it is quite properly, under the present law, not taxable.

Mr. K. Thompson

Is the Minister prepared to distinguish, for the benefit of the House, between the uncontracted benefits of the cricketer and the receipts of a vicar at the time of the Easter offerings?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

There is nothing about vicars in this Question.