HC Deb 24 March 1970 vol 798 cc368-9W
Mr. Hooley

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT an estimate of the average tax paid during the 1969–70 financial year by a retired married couple whose only form of income is the State pension, disregarding rent, in the form of taxes on alcohol, tobacco, purchase tax and other forms of indirect taxation, using the Government's family expenditure survey, or other appropriate study, as a basis for the calculation.

Mr. Taverne

From the latest available information from the Family Expenditure Survey it is estimated that a two person pensioner household (in the great majority of cases this would be a retired married couple) paid on average £124 in indirect taxes in 1968. This estimate was given in Table 7 of an article entitled "The incidence of taxes and social service benefits in 1968", published inEconomic Trends, February, 1970, and is subject to the qualifications given in that article.

Pensioner households are so defined if at least three quarters of their income is derived from State pensions and/or supplementary benefit. In 1968, two person pensioner households received in addition an average of £1 a week from other services.

Details of the estimated indirect taxes paid on final goods and services are shown below for 1968.

Local rates 26
Alcoholic drink 13
Tobacco 32
Purchase tax 9
Oil for private motoring 3
Oil for domestic purposes and public transport 1
Motor vehicle duties and driving licences 2
Import duties 2
Betting 1
Other 6

The remaining £29 is a global estimate for the taxes on goods and services purchased by industry and assumed to be fully reffected in the prices paid for the goods and services bought by the households in question.

Indirect taxes paid by pensioner households are likely to have been slightly higher in 1969–70 than in 1968 because of the use of the regulator in November, 1968 but this increase was more than offset by the increase in the retirement pension rate from November, 1969.