HC Deb 30 January 1991 vol 184 cc515-7W
Mr. Meacher

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a table showing information available to him on the tax allowances and tax reliefs given to parents in European Community member states.

Mr. Maude

The latest available information is given in the following table, which is supplemented by notes. To make a valid comparison between countries the level of child benefits given through the social security system would also have to be taken into account.

All amounts have been converted to sterling using the latest available purchasing power parities.


Deductable allowances are given:

1 child BF 36,000 (£505)
2 children BF 93,000 (£1,304)
3 children BF 209,000 (£2,931)
4 children BF 338,000 (£4,740)

Plus BF 129,000 (£1,809) for each additional child.

Plus BF 10,000 (£140) for each child under three years (if no deduction is claimed for childcare expenses).

Denmark No child tax allowances are given.

France Tax relief is given by means of a family quotient system. The benefit of this relief is normally limited to FF 12,180 (£1,018) for each child.

Germany A child deduction of DM 3,024 (£783) is granted, reduced to DM 1,512 (£392) per child if the child is not maintained by the taxpayer, but by the former spouse of the taxpayer to whom he/she makes maintenance payments. If spouses are assessed separately, both may deduct DM 1,512 (£392) per child.


Child allowances are given:

  • First two children—Dr 130,000 (£666) each
  • Third child—Dr 208,000 (£1,066)
  • Fourth child—Dr 325,000 (£1,665)
  • Fifth and each subsequent child—Dr 390,000 (£1,998)

Ireland There are no universal tax allowances for parents.

Italy Each spouse may claim an income tax reduction of L50,928 (£21) per child.

Luxembourg At lower income levels, eg not exceeding LF 883,200 (£13,228) if there is one child, or LF 918,600 (£13,758) for two children, relief is given through a family quotient system. In all other cases a tax credit is given depending on taxable income and the number of children. If taxable income does not exceed LF 2,150,400 (£32,206) the tax credit is

  • for one child, 1 per cent. of taxable income plus LF 29,338 (£439)
  • for two children, 2 per cent. of taxable income plus LF 54,694 (£819).
Increased tax credits are available for parents with taxable income exceeding LF 2,150,400 (£32,206).

Netherlands There are no universal tax allowances for parents.

Portugal There is a tax credit of Esc 12,000 (£75) for each child.

Spain There is a tax credit of Pta 19,000 (£105) for each child.

United Kingdom There are no universal tax allowances for parents.


  1. 1. According to the family quotient system which applies in France and in some cases in Luxembourg, the family's taxable income is divided by a certain coefficient (for example, in France, married person with one child—2.5, married person with two children—3). The income tax table is then applied and the resulting income tax is multiplied by the same coefficient.
  2. 2. Most European Community member states give special tax allowances and reliefs to single parents and parents of disabled children. In the United Kingdom, for example, a single parent can claim an additional personal allowance of £1,720, the same amount as the married couple's allowance.