HC Deb 02 July 1979 vol 969 cc447-8W
Mr. Mudd

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, both by the number of widows involved and by the tax relinquished, what will be the full effects of his proposals to exclude the pensions of war widows from tax liability; and if he will estimate, both in the numbers and the cash sums involved, what would be the additional figures involved if he extended exclusion from tax liability to the pensions of non-war widows.

Mr. Peter Rees

The full year cost at 1979 –80 income levels of exempting the remaining 50 per cent. of war widows' pension from tax is about £6 million, and about 40,000 war widows are affected.

The cost of exempting the national insurance widows' pension and retirement pensions paid to widows under age 65 would be about £85 million. About 360,000 widows would be affected.

The cost of exempting the national insurance retirement pension of widows aged 65 and over is also thought to be about £85 million and the numbers affected about 425,000, but these estimates are less reliable because of the uncertainty of identifying widows in this age group from tax records.

Mr. Stan Thorne

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many war widows not remarried or in receipt of retirement pension will benefit from the decision to waive pensions for tax purposes.

Mr. Peter Rees

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 25 June 1979], gave the following answer:

I regret that information on which to base an estimate is not available but the number is thought to be quite small.