HC Deb 21 April 1970 vol 800 cc224-5
13. Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the net income after tax of a married man with two dependent children aged 11 years to 16 years. with a gross income before tax of £3,000 arising wholly from employment, wholly from interest on invested savings, from 30 weeks' employment plus 22 weeks' earnings-related unemployment benefit at the maximum rate, and from National Insurance pension plus an occupational pension, respectively.

Mr. William Rodgers

On the basis of the Budget proposals, the figures are £2,359, £2,037, £2,476, arising from an annual gross rate of earnings when at work of £4.565, and £2,359 respectively.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

In other words, it pays to give up your job. Is not that what the figures mean? Would the hon. Gentleman not agree that now that the potential yield from taxation of unemployment and sickness benefit has reached the substantial figure of £140 million a year it is about time that we looked again at this almost unique exemption of a particular payment from taxation?

Mr. Rodgers

I would not agree with the hon. Gentleman's first proposition, and if he examines my reply carefully he will see that it certainly is to the advantage of someone earning £4,500 a year to remain at work. He would be substantially better off as a result. As to the second part of his question, this is certainly a serious point and it has been examined before, as he knows. There are considerable difficulties in carrying out what he now proposes, which would involve some increase in taxation and would involve also considerable additional staff costs.

Mr. Robert Cooke

What is the position of the person earning £3,000 a year? Can we have that?

Mr. Rodgers

If the hon. Gentleman would like to put down a Question I will give him the figures. I should be happy to repeat them here, but clearly as they confuse his hon. Friend the Member for South Angus (Mr. Bruce-Gardyne) they would confuse the hon. Gentleman too.