§ Mr. Gwilym Roberts
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the latest figures available of the cost of the Treasury of disregarding widows' pensions from income tax assessment; and what estimate is available for the number of widows who would benefit in these circumstances.
§ Mr. Ridley
[pursuant to his reply, 14 December 1982, c. 63–64]: In a full year, at 1982–83 levels of income, the cost of exempting (a) National Insurance widows' benefits would be about £120 million; and (b) National Insurance retirement pensions paid to widows would be about £200 million. It is estimated that, in total, over 800,000 widows would benefit. If occupational pensions received by widows were also exempt, the cost would be higher.