HC Deb 13 February 1961 vol 634 cc932-3
51. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the estimated loss of revenue arising from non-aggregation of the income of spouses, for surtax purposes, up to a ceiling of £4,000 annually of the combined income of such spouses.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Sir Edward Boyle)

I regret that the loss cannot be estimated.

Mr. Nabarro

If it cannot be estimated, will my hon. Friend communicate at an early date with the Minister of Education and ask him why he considers it desirable to try to entice married women, notably university graduates, back to the teaching profession actively, whereas the Treasury is pursuing a policy inimical to that by keeping Surtax at such a level as to cause husband and wife to pay in a group of Surtax which acts as a positive deterrent to the woman returning to work?

Sir E. Boyle

That supplementary question takes us rather beyond the Question on the Order Paper. I do not know whether enticement is not rather a strong word. The only information about the part of a married couple's income which belongs to the wife relates to the wife's earnings. Information is not available about the division of the investment income between husband and wife. That is why I cannot give my hon. Friend a figure.

Dame Irene Ward

When my hon. Friend is examining all these propositions will he bear in mind that there are many married women staying at home to look after their children and they would also like some inducements in the direction of Income Tax being lowered, so that they can stay at home and look after their children?

Sir E. Boyle

I assure my hon. Friend that all these matters will be considered at the appropriate time.

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