HC Deb 10 May 1988 vol 133 cc101-2W
Mr. Gordon Brown

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many husbands(a) do not have sufficient earnings to make full use of their married man's allowance, and (b) make full use of this allowance.

Mr. Norman Lamont

I apologise for the delay in replying.

In 1988–89, about 2.9 million husbands are expected to have insufficient income of their own to use all their tax

account of these relationships. They concluded that although there were drawbacks in the present system of using Civil Service grade analogues, the balance of advantage still lay decisively with retaining it, though it should be reviewed again before long. The Government agree with this view.

The Government have carefully considered the review team's ecommendations, and have accepted them where the majority of posts are concerned. In particular, in the middle range, however, it has been decided to substitute a broader-banded approach, not involving the creation of a special new grade between grades 3 and 4, for the relatively finer tuning proposed by the team. The table sets out the posts concerned, the present gradings, those proposed by the review team and those which have now been approved by the Government and will be introduced with effect from 1 April 1988.

The review team also recommended that a system of merit awards should be introduced for the directors. There is much to be said for the enhanced motivation and the rewards for performance that such awards may provide. There are, however, a number of considerations to be taken into account in the introduction of any such arrangements for the national museums and galleries, and the Government will consider this proposal further before reaching a decision.

allowances. In about half a million of these couples, the wife is able to use the married man's tax allowance against her earnings.

About 11.3 million married couples are expected to be liable to income tax in 1988–89 and to use all the appropriate tax allowances.