HC Deb 26 May 1966 vol 729 c711
31. Mr. J. E. B. Hill

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are his proposals for offsetting the rise in school fees paid or contributed to by local education authorities which will result from the imposition of the Selective Employment Tax on education.

Mr. Redhead

The Government are considering this matter.

Mr. Hill

Does the hon. Gentleman not agree that the more one looks at the problem of the likely effect of the Selective Employment Tax on education, the more it seems to be inequitable and unfair as between one authority and another, one parent and another and one school and another?

Mr. Redhead

If the hon. Gentleman has in mind the distinction between the application of the tax to the maintained sector and to the independent, direct grant and non-maintained special schools, he will, of course, know that most of the latter are already classified as charities and that the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has indicated the Government's consideration of that aspect.

Sir E. Boyle

Will the hon. Gentleman give an undertaking that he will bear in mind the clear evidence of the need for more boarding places for those being educated in the State sector? Is it not a serious feature of the tax that it will hit particularly hard boarding schools with their necessarily more lavish staffing?

Mr. Redhead

I will take note of what the right hon. Gentleman has said in that connection.