HC Deb 13 June 1967 vol 748 cc282-3
11. Mr. Gwilwyn Roberts

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to bring the tax position of industrial and office workers into line with that of companies by making expenses incurred in the course of their employment such as lunches, travelling to and from work, and wear and tear on clothes all allowable against personal taxation.

Mr. Diamond

I am afraid that I could not adopt my hon. Friend's suggestion for extending the expenses that are deductible under the Schedule E expenses rules.

Mr. Roberts

Does my right hon. Friend not agree, however, that the present tax position gives an enormous and unfair advantage to the man in business compared with the salary and wage earner? Does he not feel that these sorts of allowances would contribute greatly to the mobility of labour?

Mr. Diamond

Perhaps my hon. Friend is not aware of the fact that the sort of allowances to which he refers are already made. For example, there is a flat-rate reduction granted on overalls, which is an item of expenditure agreed with the trade unions themselves.

Mr. Barnett

Would my right hon. Friend not consider increasing the concession for luncheon vouchers, for example, which have been at 3s. 6d. from the date on which they were started?

Sir G. Nabarro

Certainly not.

Mr. Diamond

I recognise the weight of my hon. Friend's point, but this matter has been debated, and he is aware of the reasons why it has remained at that figure.

Mr. Frederic Harris

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that nowhere in this country is there a canteen which is self-supporting and not subsidised at the cost of the taxpayer?

Mr. Diamond

I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman is referring to canteens for directors, canteens for employees, or both.