§ 10. Captain Orr
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will seek to amend Section 214 of the Income Tax Act, 1952, to remove the discrimination it contains between the treatment of widowers and widows and that of unmarried persons.
§ 18. Sir Knox Cunningham
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has studied the views, a copy of which has been sent to him, of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs of Great Britain and Northern Ireland about the distinction made between a widow and an unmarried person by Section 214 of the Income Tax Act, 1952; and what steps he intends to take in this matter.
§ Mr. MacDermot
I can say no more than that I have noted the views of the 815 National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs on this point.
§ Captain Orr
When considering those views, will the hon. and learned Gentleman bear in mind that it is anomalous to have a situation of two elderly ladies living in retirement side by side with housekeepers, one of whom, because she is a widow, gets the allowance but the other of whom, because she happens to be single, does not?
§ Mr. MacDermot
We are well aware of the anomaly to which the hon. and gallant Member refers. It is a matter which has been considered for a long time. The hon. and gallant Member will be aware that the Royal Commission on Taxation suggested a rather different solution to his, namely, that the allowance should be withdrawn from widows and widowers without a young child.
§ Sir Knox Cunningham
Will the hon. and learned Gentleman bear in mind that the clubs in my constituency at Carrickfergus and Lisburn strongly support this recommendation? Will he consider it seriously, because it has a great deal of national backing throughout the whole country?