§ Mr. Rooker
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish the information given in the answer of 27 January, Official Report, c. 712, concerning income statistics using 1978 as a base year instead of 1979.
§ Mr. Moore
The information is as follows.
Gross earnings are those recorded in each April's new earnings survey for all full-time adult males whose pay was not affected by absence. Income tax rates and allowances for April 1979 are those specified in the Finance Act 1979, later replaced by those announced in June 1979; for other Aprils, they are the rates and allowances for the financial year immediately following. Taxpayers are assumed to have no reliefs or allowances other than the appropriate personal allowances. National insurance contributions are at the contracted-in rate.
The calculations take no account of means-tested benefits to which those at the lowest decile may be entitled. Changes in the purchasing power of net earnings have been calculated by reference to movements in the general index of retail prices between Aprils.
§ Mr. Hayhoe
The council has kept Treasury Ministers fully aware of its view that all food should be zero-rated and it wrote to my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary on 7 February to this effect.