HC Deb 14 February 1963 vol 671 cc1475-6
29. Dr. D. Johnson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will introduce Income Tax allowances in respect of travelling expenses to and from work.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster-General (Mr. John Boyd-Carpenter)

My hon. Friend will not, I am sure, expect me to anticipate my right hon. Friend's Budget statement.

Dr. Johnson

Is my right hon. Friend aware, none the less, of the increasing burden travelling to work places on many people? Is he aware that the provisions of war-time reliefs, which are still on the form being circulated, are now out of date? Will he not give some relief of a more up-to-date kind?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

This matter has been discussed on successive Finance Bills, and I think the one thing which has become very apparent is that this is not quite as easy as my hon. Friend thinks.

Mr. Callaghan

As we have already had statements of his right hon. Friend's intentions in relation to initial allowances, investment allowances and the repeal of Schedule A, why does the Chief Secretary take the view that we cannot expect a statement on this matter?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The hon. Member knows only too well that there may be good reasons for the special treatment in the interests of the national economy of the particular matters to which he has referred.

Mr. Wade

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that there is high level unemployment in certain areas and great housing shortage in others where employment is available? For this reason, an increasing number of people are having to travel a considerable distance to and from their work. Will he, therefore, agree that this is a strong case for reviewing this rule?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

There is a very considerable problem for people travelling long distances to work, but if the hon. Member will study the Royal Commission on Taxation's Report, paragraphs 236 and 237, he will see well set out the pros and cons on this matter.