§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when tax-free employer grants to employees moving to higher cost housing areas were introduced; what the largest allowable size of grant to qualify for tax exemption was in each tax year of operation; and if he will provide an estimate of the number of such tax-free grants made.
§ Mr. Norman Lamont
Subject to certain conditions, payments of this kind have never been regarded as taxable. To be tax-free payments must be spread over a number of years and not exceed, in total, a prescribed amount. Since 1 April 1987, the maximum amount payable tax-free has varied in line with the maximum amount payable under the Civil Service additional housing costs allowance. The relevant amounts are given in the table. I regret that estimates of the number of tax-exempt payments is not available.
Moves on or after: Total payable tax-free £ 1 April 1987 18,270 1 June 1987 17,220 30 March 1988 15,750 1 October 1988 20,160 1 February 1989 21,210