HC Deb 03 December 1963 vol 685 cc965-6
24. Mr. A. Roberts

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give tax relief to industrial concerns prepared to introduce generous severance payments to redundant employees.

Mr. Maudling

Severance payments made to redundant employees by an employer who continued in business would normally be deductible in computing his profits for tax purposes for the period in which the payments were made.

Mr. Roberts

Does the Chancellor agree that it would be far better for all concerned to put the money away to meet any contingency of redundancy when they are enjoying good times than to ask employers to provide severance pay when they are going through depressing times? Would he not agree that if such a fund were put on one side, under the control of workers and employers, it would be of advan- tage and would give confidence to the workers and that, to some extent, the Government would be relieved of a certain amount of obligation?

Mr. Maudling

That is certainly an interesting suggestion worth examining, but the hon. Member will not expect me to express any opinion on that any more than on any other tax change.