§ 48. Mr. Carter-Jones
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will seek to grant increased tax relief to the parents of older mentally handicapped children who are receiving industrial or other training.
§ The Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. John Diamond)
I have noted my hon. Friend's suggestion, but I cannot anticipate my right hon. Friend's Budget statement.
§ Mr. Carter-Jones
While thanking my right hon. Friend for that expected answer, may I ask him if he will please appreciate that there is a real and genuine anomaly here, and that parents like myself who send their children to university and the parents of unfortunately placed children find themselves at very grave disadvantages when it comes to tax allowances? There is a real anomaly here, and will my right hon. Friend please consider it most carefully in his Budget statement?
§ Mr. Diamond
Yes, of course, every one of us would want to consider most sympathetically the circumstances which my hon. Friend has described, but I am not sure that my hon. Friend is fully aware of the circumstances when he refers to the question of advantage and disadvantage. The present position is that an incapacitated child over 16 is treated by the National Assistance Board as a person who may receive assistance in his own right irrespective of his parent's income, and as a result of that, under that scheme, we find it more advantageous—I repeat to my hon. Friend, more advantageous—to the family for the child to receive National Assistance and the parents to receive Income Tax dependent relative allowance than for the parent to receive child allowance.
§ Mr. William Clark
Would the Chief Secretary not agree that the Chancellor of the Exchequer made the last Budget statement he is going to make last Tuesday?
§ Mr. Diamond
I recollect well that the hon. Member's right hon. Friend referred to his forthcoming Budget statement, but was not prepared to put a shilling on it.