§ 8. Mr. McKay
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that the exemption of a married couple from taxation where one of them is 65 years of age, with £15,000 invested, giving an income of £440, works inequitably in that at the same time a married wage-earner with an income of £440 has to pay £13 tax, £26 National Insurance, and £13 for expenses in various ways in connection with his work, leaving him with £52 a year less than the couple with £15,000 capital; and if he will formulate proposals to give equal take-home wages to the wage-earner with the same income.
I have noted the hon. Member's views. But I cannot agree to extend in the way he suggests the special provisions for exempting an elderly married couple with an income not exceeding £440.
§ Mr. McKay
How does the Chancellor justify a system of taxation which exempts from tax people with a large invested capital which provides them with the same income as a man working hard in a pit, in a factory or on a farm? If the Chancellor thinks that there is justification for exempting from tax people with an investment income of £440, there should be a system of taxation which will exempt from taxation a hardworking factory man earning the same amount of money.
I remind the hon. Gentleman, first, that this is a concession for small incomes and, secondly, that the object of the age exemption is to give special relief to old people who are living on small incomes and are unlikely to be able to augment those incomes.