HC Deb 21 March 1963 vol 674 cc542-3
5. Mr. Leavey

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on the basis of the Report on Revision of the Index of Retail Prices, Command Paper No. 1657, and the figures published by the Central Statistical Office in November, 1962, by how much the value of State benefits received through the social services and in other ways exceeds the payments of tax by a representative family, comprising a married couple and two children of school age, having an income before tax equal to the average of male earnings.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The tables referred to by my hon. Friend show that such a household would in 1959 have been in the income range £616–£712. On average, State benefits then exceeded taxes by £30 for households in this income range consisting of two adults and two children.

Mr. Leavey

May I be made quite clear about this? Can my right hon. Friend say that any family which is currently in this category—say, a husband and wife and two children of school age with an income such as I have described in the Question—is receiving by way of social services and the like £30 a year more than it would be paying in direct and indirect taxes?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

My hon. Friend says "currently", but as my main Answer will make clear when he has time to study it, the 1962 tables referred to in the Question deal with such families in 1959, to which my Answer refers. There are no more up-to-date calculations as to the relativities, but he will know that since that date there have been two general increases of social security benefits.