HC Deb 14 February 1980 vol 978 cc804-6W
Mr. Denzil Davies

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer under what criteria the responsible accounting officer would refuse to sanction loans to a public corporation from the national loans fund.

Mr. Biffen

[pursuant to his reply, 13 February 1980]: It is for the accounting officer concerned, subject to his Minister, to satisfy himself about the justification for any issue of loans from the National Loans Fund to a Public Corporation. An essential criterion in all cases would be compliance with financial limits or other conditions expressly laid down by statute. Another criterion which may be relevant is the expected ability of the recipient to service and repay the loan. If there are doubts about this Parliament would normally be informed before the loan is made, because of the contingent risk involved to public funds. In more serious cases—for example, BSC after

Year Number liable to income tax Numbers not liable who would have been liable if allowances of preceding year had remained unchanged
(a) (b) (a) (b)
1970–71 20,000 23,100 1,300 2,100
1971–72 19,700 23,400 200 200
1972–73 18,900 21,700 1,800 3,000
1973–74 19,800 23,300 100 100
1974–75 20,500 24,500 500 1,500
1975–76 20,900 25,400 600 800
1976–77 21,300 26,000 500 800
1977–78 20,900 25,200 1,300 2,100
1978–79 (provisional) 21,300 25,900 200 400
1979–80 (estimated) 21,400 26,000 800 1,300
(a) Married couples counted as one.
(b) Earning wives counted separately.

For 1978–79, the requirement of section 22(2) of the Finance Act 1977 was regarded as having been satisfied by the personal allowance increases provided in the Finance (Income Tax Reliefs Act) 1977 which were effective for 1977–78. On this basis, all of the increases in the 1978 Budget were additional to the indexation requirement.

If the increases in allowances in 1979–80 had been restricted to those necessary to meet the requirement of the Finance Act 1977, 600,000 persons—400,000 counting married couples as one—would not have been liable to tax in 1979–80 though they could have been liable if allowances had been at the 1978–79 level.

Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the extra revenue which would accrue from income tax In 1980–81, due to the

April 1978—lending from the National Loans Fund may cease to be appropriate.

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