HC Deb 20 July 1976 vol 915 cc435-6W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer under what rule or statute servants of the Common Market are permitted to keep the whole of their salaries tax free; whether they are allowed to claim benefits for which they have not paid tax; whether the rule applied to other persons of having to leave the United Kingdom each six months applies to these employees; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Robert Sheldon

Officials and other servants of the European Communities are subject to tax imposed by the Communities, and exempt from national taxes, on salaries, wages and emoluments paid by the Communities, by virtue of Article 13 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Communities given force in United Kingdom law by section 2(1), European Communities Act, 197).

On the question of entitlement to benefits I assume the hon. Member is referring to social security benefits. This is a matter for the Secretary of State for Social Services but I understand that officials of the European Communities are covered by the Communities' own social security scheme and that they are not liable for contributions under the Social Security Act 1975 nor entitled to contributory benefits under that Act.

I know of no rule that requires anybody to leave the United Kingdom each six months.

I see no need for any special statement about the position of European Community officials.