HC Deb 30 July 1974 vol 878 c154W
Mr. Ridsdale

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to see that Service pensioners, and especially war widows, retain more of the increase in their pensions, in view of the fact that because of the fall in the value of the pound and because of taxation, these such pensioners are worse off than they were in June 1973.

Mr. Mason

I have been asked to reply.

The purchasing power of Armed Forces' pensions is maintained by annual increases based upon the rise in the retail prices index and these come into effect in December each year. War widows' pensions, which are issued by the Department of Health and Social Security, were increased for the same reason as recently as last week.

The question of taxation is really one for my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but the answer is that our system is based on the general principle that the tax is chargeable on income from all sources. In this way, people whose total incomes are the same and whose personal circumstances are similar pay the same amount of tax. The principle applies to everyone, including ex-Service men and war widows.