§ Mr. Webb
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will estimate the amount of tax relief on pension contributions provided in each financial year since 1996–97(a) in total and (b) broken down by (i)higher rate taxpayers, (ii) basic rate taxpayers and (iii) non-taxpayers; 
(2) if he will estimate the number of taxpayers receiving pension tax relief at (a) the higher rate and (b) the basic rate in each year since 1996–97; and what percentage of all taxpayers below state pension age these figures represent in each case. 
§ Ruth Kelly
[holding answer 9 February 2004]Estimates of total tax relief on pension contributions from 1998–99 to 2002–03 are contained in table T7.9 of Inland Revenue Statistics. The latest version is on the Inland Revenue website: http://www.inlandrevenue. gov.uk/stats/pensions/03IR079.pdf
Estimates prior to 1998–99 are contained in table 7.7 of 'Inland Revenue Statistics 2000', a copy of which is in the House of Commons Library.
Estimates of relief attributable and numbers of taxpayers receiving tax relief by marginal rate band for all the years specified in the question are not readily available. However, broad estimates of the proportion of relief and number of taxpayers receiving relief split between higher rate and others are given in the following table. The number of taxpayers below state pension age in 2002–03 is estimated at around 24½ million.1491W
Percentage of tax on individual and employee pension contribution with the number of taxpayers receiving relief,2002£03 Marginal income lax rate Percentage of tax relief Number of taxpayers receiving relief Non-higher rate 45 13 million Higher rate 55 2½million
Estimates are provisional and based on the 2000–01 Survey of Personal Incomes projected to 2002–03.