HC Deb 26 July 1979 vol 971 cc418-9W
Mr. Field

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the number of family income supplement recipients who are in receipt of benefit and paying tax for each year since the scheme's inception; and if he will list this data as a proportion of the total number of beneficiaries for each year.

Mr. Peter Rees

Information is not available in the form requested but the following estimates, which are from 1974, may be helpful:

FIS receipients Estimated numbers above tax threshold when benefit was claimed in previous year Per cen-tage of recipients
April 1974 75,210 15,000 20
April 1975 56,370 12,300 22
April 1976 59,840 27,740 46
April 1977 83,570 46,400 56
April 1978 95,720 59,470 62
April 1979 79,000 59,000* 75*
* Provisional


1. These estimates are based on the April figures and indicate how many recipients were above the tax threshold at the time when they claimed the benefit, which would have been up to 12 months earlier.

2. In order to estimate the numbers above the tax threshold, assumptions have been made about the ages of children when calculating the tax thresholds for various family sizes. In families with up to four children, they are assumed to be under 11 years of age. For families with five to eight children, it is assumed that four are under 11 years of age and the remainder are aged 11–16. In families of nine children or more, four are assumed to be under 11, four aged 11–16, and the balance over 16 years of age.

3. It is not known if the proportions shown paid tax on their incomes for the whole year, nor how many families with incomes below the tax threshold when they claimed FIS subsequently became taxpayers. Moreover, the estimates take account of personal and child tax allowances only.

4. The FIS scheme began in August 1971. The number of recipients in April 1972 was about 89,000 and in April 1973 about 87,000. The data available for those years do not enable an accurate estimate to be made of the numbers above the tax threshold.

The percentage of recipients liable to tax in 1979–80 is thought to be similar to the last figure shown.