HC Deb 17 April 1957 vol 568 cc214-6W
Mr. J. Griffiths

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance how much of the employed person's National Insurance contribution is not referable to unemployment benefit, sickness benefit, and maternity benefit.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

In addition to 5d. under the Industrial Injuries Act, an employed man contributes 6s. 4d. a week under the National Insurance Act. Of this 6s. 4d., is. 11.7d. is referable to unemployment benefit, sickness benefit and maternity benefit, leaving a balance of 4s. 4.3d. which includes 8½d. towards the National Health Service. For Income Tax purposes, the part of the contribution relating to the first-mentioned group of benefits is not allowable as a deduction from income, whereas the balance of the contribution is so allowable. In this connection, I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for giving me an opportunity of correcting what I said on a point of tax law during the debate on 19th March at Col. 329–330 of the OFFICIAL REPORT. I then said, after taking the full advice available to me. that the existing Health Service element in the National Insurance contribution was in that part of the contribution which is not allowable as a deduction for tax purposes. I have now ascertained that this is not so.

It is, however, the intention, for the reasons given in the debate both by the right hon. Gentleman and myself, that the contribution to be imposed on the insured person under forthcoming legislation should not be deductible for tax purposes, and I am authorised by my right hon. Friends the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Minister of Health to say that the National Health Service Contributions Bill will deal in this way with the new Health Service contribution (which will subsume the National Health Service element in the present National Insurance contribution).

I would like to add that I very much regret that I gave the House what turns out to be a wrong view of the present law.