HC Deb 16 June 1981 vol 6 cc340-1W
Mr. George Cunningham

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science why, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury on 5 June, Official Report, column 342, he is proposing in the Education (Mandatory Awards) Regulations to depart from the normal principle that deductions from income accepted for tax purposes are also accepted for the purposes of assessing parental contributions to student grants by ignoring, in the arrangements described in his answer, the deductibility of contributions to qualifying pension schemes in respect of non-pensionable earnings in the past years as provided for by the Taxes Acts; and why he proposes that the 15 per cent. of income limit should also depart from tax rules by not being subject to an allowable minimum of £1,500.

Dr. Boyson

Though the Education (Mandatory Awards) Regulations are generally based on the principle of parity with the income tax system on assessing income for the purpose of parental contributions, they depart from it in a number of ways. It was decided not to reflect the provisions of section 32 of the Finance Act 1980, which relates to the carry-forward of unused relief in relation to retirement annuities, because this would have involved local education authorities in reassessing student awards up to six years after their termination.

I shall write to the hon. Member about the second point raised in his question.