HC Deb 08 May 1989 vol 152 cc314-5W
Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy that when husbands and wives are taxed separately there will be no adverse effect on elderly married pensioners caused by the abolition of the married personal allowance where the wife's only taxable income is her state retirement pension; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Norman Lamont

No elderly married couple will be worse off as a result of the changes to allowances when independent taxation of husbands and wives is introduced in April 1990. The allowances available to an elderly husband under the new system—the personal allowance and the married couple's allowance—will be at least as great as the married age allowance which he is receiving at present, and the elderly wife will for the first time be entitled to an age-related personal allowance in her own right which she will be able to set against any of her income, from whatever source. In fact, over 85 per cent. of taxpaying elderly couples will pay less tax under independent taxation.