§ Mr. R. Carr
I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave on this subject on the 11th February. The number of pensioners affected by the Ghana tax measure is approximately 1,500.
§ Mr. Wall
Is my right hon. Friend aware that that statement is not entirely satisfactory and does not cover cases of British pensioners now living outside the United Kingdom? Will he take up their case with the Ghana Government? Is he aware that the sense of security of all pensioners has been rather shaken by this event? Would my right hon. Friend look again at the question of taking over all pensions contracted up to the time of independence and offsetting that amount by a commensurate reduction in overseas aid?
§ Mr. Carr
On my hon. Friend's last point, I would have hoped that the outcome of these negotiations would have increased the sense of security and confidence in the ability of the British Government to look after the interests of our pensioners. I cannot hold out any hope to my hon. Friend that the basic responsibility for the payment of pensions will be altered. On the first point I understand that a procedure similar to that applicable to Ghana pensioners in the United Kingdom will operate in relation to countries with which Ghana has a double taxation agreement. There are some arrangements with other countries as well.
§ Mr. Carr
Pensioners resident in those countries will be liable to Ghana Income Tax at the non-resident rate unless, and this is an important proviso, they prove by certificate from their local tax authorities that their pension is taxed in their country of residence, in which case the Ghana resident as opposed to non-resident rates will apply. I think that that will cover those pensioners.