§ Mr. Spearing
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer in what circumstances it is possible for a citizen to receive supplementary benefit and to pay income tax; and if he will estimate the number of persons in this category.
§ Mr. Deakins
I have been asked to reply.
Supplementary benefit itself is not taxable, but a person receiving it is liable to pay tax on his other (taxable) income if it exceeds the tax threshold in his particular case. Supplementary benefit may be payable to augment an income which is above the tax threshold because the person concerned has exceptional expenses which need to be met by supplementary benefit but which are not allowed for in the tax structure. In such a case the income taken into account in determining the supplementary benefit payable is income net of tax, so that the tax liability does not operate to reduce the income below the supplementary benefit level. Such information as is available suggests that some 20,000 persons may be in this category.