HC Deb 08 May 1989 vol 152 cc313-4W
Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the savings in a full year at 1989–90 rates of restricting all allowances and reliefs to the standard rate of tax; and if he will provide a breakdown by category of allowance and relief.

Mr. Norman Lamont

[holding answer 2 May 1989]: Estimates of the direct revenue yield in a full year at 1989–90 levels of income from restricting the main income tax reliefs and allowances to the basic rate are as follows:

£ million
(a) Personal allowances 1,320
(b) Mortgage interest relief 430
(c) Employees' superannuation and personal pension contributions 200
(d) Retirement annuity relief1 100
1 Including relief for retirement annuity payments made by employees.

It is not possible to provide reliable estimates for the effects of restricting other smaller reliefs to the basic rate.

The direct revenue yield from restricting all reliefs and allowances simultaneously to the basic rate is likely to be in the order of £2½ billion, somewhat more than the sum of the yields from restricting the reliefs and allowances separately; this is due to the cumulative effect of bringing more people into higher rate tax. About two thirds of those who would pay more tax as a result of this change are currently liable only at the basic rate. Estimates are based on a projection of the 1986–87 survey of personal income and are provisional. No account is taken of possible behavioural changes or the effect on receipts of capital gains tax.