§ Mr. Ralph Howell
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his latest estimate of the number of taxpayers who are also in receipt of family income supplement and if he will classify his reply according to the number of dependent children in each family.
§ Mr. Orme
It is estimated that, at the end of the 1976–7 tax years, 54,000 families receiving family income supplement (FIS) had incomes above the tax threshold when they claimed FIS, which could have been at any time during that year. Of these about 21,000, 16,000, 10,000 and 7,000 had, respectively, one, two, three and four or more children. It is not known whether these families remained taxpayers throughout the year or how many families with incomes below the tax threshold when they claimed FIS subsequently became taxpayers. Moreover, the estimate takes account of personal and child tax allowances only, and assumes that all income taken into account for FIS was taxable. Finally, certain assumptions about the distribution of children's ages have had to be made in providing the breakdown by family size. The overall effect of these qualifications is likely to mean an over-estimate of the number of taxpaying FIS families.