HC Deb 19 March 1968 vol 761 c290

I now turn to a matter which will be of interest, but not I fear of favourable interest, to hon. and learned Members on both sides of the House. That is the question of post-cessation receipts. Under the present law, barristers and certain other professional people pay no tax on those earnings of their profession which they receive after they have ceased to practise. Sometimes several such cessations take place in the course of a professional career. This is, I fear, an indefensible anomaly, the more so as for some years now self-employed persons have been able to get tax relief for payments to provide annuities on their retirement. I therefore propose to end the anomaly as from today and make such receipts taxable. There is, however, a problem for those, well-advanced in their professional carrer, who have been counting upon the anomaly when they retire. I therefore propose to soften the blow. There will be a tapering arrangement for those now over 50. Anyone aged 51 on 6th April, 1968, will be entitled to receive 5 per cent. of his last year's earnings tax-free. The percentage will increase by five points for each additional year of age; for those already 65 or over, 75 per cent. will remain tax-free.

Sir Gerald Nabarro (Worcestershire, South)

Ah, that is the point.